Van Gogh: Starry Night
Van Gogh: Starry Night (The Voyager Co.) is based on the research of Albert Boime, the UCLA art history professor who first noted that Van Gogh’s masterpiece was in fact astronomically accurate. As always, Voyager’s interface design is superb, the production values are top-notch, and the content is intellectually challenging. And, as is so often the case with Voyager titles, the final product is less than the sum of its parts. The centerpiece of the disc is an illustrated lecture by Dr. Boime. The lecture is lucid and interesting, the examples are visually stimulating, and Dr. Boime’s assertions about the way modern audiences have misconstrued Van Gogh’s work are soundly supported. But there’s nothing here that couldn’t be done in a classroom with a slide projector (and, in this case, actually has been done this way – the CD-ROM lecture is basically identical to the one our reviewer heard Dr. Boime deliver at a College Art Association meeting). Porting slide lectures onto CD-ROM is no more useful than porting over documentary movies unless the supplementary material truly enlarges the original content. Using this fascinating lecture as a starting point, much more could and should have been done with this CD-ROM.
– May 1996