Vincent Willem van Gogh
(31 January 1890 - 20 January 1978)

Vincent Willem van Gogh, son of Theo and Johanna, was named after his famous uncle, but throughout his early years he strove to make a name for himself outside the ever-growing shadow of his Uncle Vincent.

Vincent Willem entered the College of Technology at Delft in 1907 and graduated as a mechanical engineer in 1914. Indeed, throughout his life he was often affectionately referred to as "The Engineer". A far more pragmatic thinker than many of the art-inclined members of his family, Vincent Willem would write "I was never taught how to understand art (paintings, music). I cared nothing about it. I respected it, but regarded it as a sort of sorcery that was not for me."

Although Vincent Willem didn't share his mother's passion for his uncle's legacy, he nevertheless respected the vast art collection he had inherited and was generous in loaning his uncle's works to various museums. After World War II, however, Vincent Willem took more of an interest in the collection and he dreamed of establishing a museum specifically dedicated to his uncle's art.

Vincent Willem, "The Engineer", was instrumental to the establishment of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in 1960. For the next thirteen years he dedicated himself to the planning and construction of the Van Gogh Museum. Like his mother, Johanna, Vincent Willem was a devoted and dedicated caretaker of uncle's collection of art works. His children and grandchildren continue to have an active role today in the Vincent van Gogh Foundation.

Source: "Vincent Willem van Gogh and the Van Gogh Museum's pre-history" by Gerald van Bronkhorst (Van Gogh Museum Journal, 1995, pp. 24-33).