London based publisher Bloomsbury publishes the extensive biography of Jo van Gogh-Bonger: The Woman Who Made Vincent Famous by Van Gogh Museum’s senior researcher Hans Luijten. Originally published in Dutch by Uitgeverij Prometheus, it will be the first time that the work will be available in English.
Jo van Gogh-Bonger (1862-1925) was the wife of Vincent’s brother Theo. She published Vincent van Gogh’s letters, organised exhibitions in the Netherlands and throughout the world, and made strategic sales to private individuals and influential dealers.
Her efforts were crucial to the reputation of van Gogh’s art, but she also led an interesting life in other respects. Not only was she friends with eminent writers and artists, she was active within the Social Democratic Workers’ Party and closely involved in emerging women’s movements.
Using rich source material, including previously unpublished diaries, documents and letters, Hans Luijten charts the multifaceted life of this driven woman who made a bold impact in a male-dominated world at the turn of the 20th century. This much-needed and critical biography also sheds new light on the complex history of public appreciation for Vincent van Gogh.
‘I am thrilled to have worked with Bloomsbury on the English edition. With this translation, Jo van Gogh-Bonger’s impressive life can reach a wide readership,‘ said author Hans Luijten.
Hans Luijten is Senior Researcher at the Van Gogh Museum and the (co-)author of several books on Van Gogh. He also published a digital edition of Jo’s diaries: bongerdiaries.org.
His book Alles voor Vincent. Het leven van Jo van Gogh-Bonger has been nominated in the Netherlands for the Dutch Biography Price 2020, the Libris History Price 2020, and the AICA Award Netherlands 2021 (International Association of Art Critics) and on publication was covered widely by Dutch national newspapers, television and radio such as: Volkskrant, Trouw, Het Parool, NRC, VPRO Boeken and NPO1.