Beyond Van Gogh is here for a while, at the Empire Polo Club. We were going to go to this in Portland previously, then Diane learned that it was going to be in Indio during our trip to this part of the world. So, plans were changed to visit that venue here. Never been to a polo club before. Just seen them on TV and in the movies. Seems like a complicated chore for horses, dodging all those long handled croquet mallets, and banging into the other horses. We didn’t get to see any of that, of course, because the Van Gogh event took precedence. It was set up inside an enormous building that is apparently used for polo matches when it rains. Which isn’t very often.
When we first entered the building we encountered a series of small billboard like displays that gave the history about Vincent Van Gogh as well as some short letters that he wrote to his brother Theo and their co-owned dog Buster. Sadly, Buster liked Theo best which is why Vincent never painted a picture of him.
I did my best to read every one of them because they were actually interesting. There was no mention of Buster on any of those letters so I don’t think that’s true about him being co-owned by the brothers. I’ll bet they didn’t even have a dog. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure I just made that up.
After zig zagging through the gallery of Vincents life we exited through a doorway into the larger room where the magic happened. As the users said, the display is on a 37 minute loop. There was no set time as to how long viewers could stay watching the display but the fact that mentioning the 37 minute loop planted the seed that after 37 minutes it was time to leave.
The swirling display changed constantly for 37 minutes so it was difficult to keep our eyes moving in such a manner that allowed us to see everything. There was some danger that we’d have to sit through the display again to ensure we didn’t miss anything. You may have noticed that Vincent painted numerous pictures of himself. That because, as a struggling artist, he couldn’t afford to pay models to sit for him. So, he painted what was available to him.
Seeing all these works by Van Gogh was mesmerizing and very calming as soothing music was played for the duration of the show. Starry Starry Nite, played in a subtle minor key by a bunch of stringed instruments, was prominent, but you had to listen hard to catch the melody.
There were a total of three 2-butt benches scattered around the vertical displays and about minute 26 we were fortunate enough to be near one when it was vacated. So we sat for a while. Then a lady stood lurking near us making Diane nervous. It was evident that she was just waiting for an opportunity to replace us on that treasured resting place. So, at minute 39 we relinquished it and moved on to the last stop, the gift shop. The only things we got were a refrigerator magnet and a wall hanging of Starry Starry Night. Where it will eventually hang is currently unknown but we’re pretty sure the magnet will find a place on the refrigerator.
Leaving the building we were funneled around the side of the building which was next to one of the many polo fields in the area. They take their polo seriously in Palm Springs. There are numerous fields like this all around the city – easily hundreds of acres of them.
After Van Gogh it was time for lunch so we randomly chose Sloan’s to satisfy that need. The food was excellent as was the service. We were pleased with our choice.
Then, we went ‘home’ to our desert oasis. That’s actually true because the name of the resort at which we’re staying is the Desert Oasis.
Friday we have tickets to Sunnyland, one of the many mansions in the area. We both will take a tram tour of the grounds and Diane will get the full meal-deal of a guided visit inside. While she’s doing that I get to watch a movie.
Hope all is well on the home front, and wherever you might be. Stay safe.