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 David Johnson Vandenberg  

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Ad Code: 4
Biography from a third party submitted on 08/03/2009:
"My intense interest in history provides me with both inspiration and subject matter for my paintings.  In studying the past, I find that certain individuals, events, or products of a culture persist in the mind and demand further inspection.  I address these demands with an exhaustive study of historical and visual sources to ensure accuracy in both minor details and general atmosphere; this research also introduces me to subsidiary motifs that may complement my central theme.  These images from the past carry with them particular environmental moods engendered by their historical contexts which I combine with my personal perceptions and stylistic idiosyncrasies to create and arrange the elements that go into each work.  The finished piece should provide a realistic but stylized visual recreation from the past that also carries with it a wider comment on the qualities of human existence."

Selected Shows and Exhibitions:
2007  "History in the Making", Desert Leaf, Vol.21 No.8

2006  Featured Speaker and exhibiting artist, The Clio Society, Department of History, University of Arizona
"Out of Chaos”, Group Show, Liz Hernandez Gallery, Tucson, Arizona
“For the Birds”, Tohono Chul Park Gallery, Tucson

2005  Contributing Artist, Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Charity Auction, Painted Violin
Lost Histories, Found Memories”, Liz Hernandez Gallery

2004  One Man Show, Vanier Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona
Flight of Fancy, Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona

2003  This Place Exhibition, A.P. Tell Gallery, Grand Canyon University

2001  Inside/Outside Exhibition, Sky Harbor International Airport, Phoenix, Arizona
Oil Painters of America National Exhibition, San Antonio Texas

1995  Oil Painters of America, Southwest Regional Show, Scottsdale, Arizona
Salmagundi Club 18th Annual Art Exhibition, New York, N.Y.

1994  Two-man show, Tucson Jewish Community Center

1992  One-man show, University of Arizona, Hall of Fame Gallery, Tucson

1990  Mountain Oyster Club Western Art Invitational, Tucson
Fine Arts for Fine Causes, Tucson Museum of Art

1989  National Audubon Society annual meeting exhibition, Tucson
Fine Arts for Fine Causes, Tucson Museum of Art

1987  One-man show, Dinnerware Gallery, Tucson

1986  Best of Show, Dinnerware Gallery Annual Six State Invitational, Tucson

1984  Arizona Biennial, Tucson Museum of Art

Articles and Features:
Manhattan Arts, Featured Profile, Summer, 1995
Arizona Illustrated, Artist Spotlight, Michael Boyle, KUAT, Channel 6, 1988
Arizona Daily Star, Right Man for the Quake of 365, Ed Severson, May 12, 1988
Arizona Illustrated, Artist Spotlight, Michael Boyle, KUAT, Channel 6, 1986
Arizona Daily Star, Biennial: The Funky, the Horrid and the Wonderful, Robert Cauthorn, October 28, 1984

Publications:
A Roman Villa (and late Roman Cemetery), David Soren Líerma Di Bretschneider, 1999
The Best of Oil Painting, Rockport Publishing, 1996
Death to Dust, Ken Iserson, M.D., Galen Press, 1994
The Poles and Saxons of Napoleonic Wars, G. Nafziger, The Emperorís Press, 1991
I Terrmoti Prima del Mille In Italia E Nell 'Area Mediterranea, E. Guidoboni, SGA Bolgna
Carthage, Dr. D. Soren, A. Khader and H. Slim, Simon and Schuster, 1990
Kourion-The search for a Lost Roman City, Dr. D. Soren and J. James, Doubleday, 1988
National Geographic, The Day the World Ended at Kourion, July, 1988
Carthage-Mirage of Antiquity, Dr. David Soren, University of Arizona, 1987
McIntosh and Weatherford-Creek Indian Leaders, B. Griffiths, University of Alabama Press, 1986

Education:
University of Arizona, B.A. History, 2001
Phi Beta Kappa, 2001

Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Painting, 1977-78

North Texas State University, Fine Arts/Painting, 1974-77

 
Family History;The Vandenbergs:
The Vandenbergs originally came from the country of Bergh in the southern Netherlands.  Count Hendrik vanden BERGH joined in the 1572 revolt of the Dutch against their Spanish overlords as the leader of a band of German mercenaries in the service of William of Orange.  Unfortunately, Count Hendrik switched sides later in the conflict and signed on with Philip II of Spain.  Thus, when the Dutch revolt proved a permanent success, count Hendrik was forced to relocate to the Spanish Netherlands (Belgium).  In the mid 17th century the Vandenbergs sailed to the Dutch area of the New World and settled on the Hudson River.  In the 1690’s my Vandenberg ancestor married the daughter of two French Huguenots who settled in New Amsterdam (New York City), adding a French element to the family.  Later on, a Vandenberg married a Bishop from Massachusetts whose family had arrived on the Mayflower.  The Vandenbergs contributed several soldiers to the Union during the Civil War, and I have the wallet and daguerreotype of one in his 56th N.Y. Regimental uniform.  More recent Vandenbergs include my great-uncle Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who was Senate Majority Leader in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  My grandfather, Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg was a West Point grad who commanded the 9th Air Force in WWII and later became Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Director of the early CIA. Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is named for him.  My father, Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Jr., is also a West Point grad and Air Force fighter pilot who retired as a Major General.

The Johnsons:
My mother, Sue, is the daughter of General Leon W. Johnson, another West Point grad who commanded the 44th Bomb Group (B-24’s) in the 8th Air Force during WWII.  He received the Congressional Medal of Honor for leadership on the August 1943 Ploesti oil-field raid.  General Johnson retired a four star General and lived in McClean, Virginia until his death in 1998.  My grandmother, Lucille Johnson, provides me with my southern connections.  Her mother outlived three husbands, one of whom, an engineer, disappeared in Mexico while engaged in mining work.  Because my great grandmother belonged to the D.A.R., we have good records of her ancestors, among whom are: William Clark, co-leader of the Lewis and Clark expedition; “Lighthorse” Harry Lee, American Revolutionary Cavalry leader; U.S. President and General Zachary Taylor; and Confederate Generals Richard Taylor and Robert E. Lee.

With this background, it is no surprise that I grew up surrounded by, and obsessed with, history.  My grandparents and parents had/have houses filled with European and Oriental antiques.  I grew up in houses filled with Napoleonic bronzes and paintings, swords and guns, family militaria, etc. Other families went to church on Sundays, we visited battlefields.  My own historical interests center on western Europe, with an emphasis on ancient Greece and Rome along with “side” areas such as Japan and Mexico.  Hence, it is no surprise that my art reflects a family and life filled with history.

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