Nashville's Frist Center Hosts REMBRANDT AND THE DUTCH GOLDEN AGE Exhibition, Now thru 5/19
Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Highlights from the Detroit Institute of Arts will open at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts today, February 1, 2013. Drawn entirely from the superb collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts, this exhibition presents works of the great Dutch masters including Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob van Ruisdael and Jan Steen, along with related decorative arts. Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age will remain on view in the Frist Center's Ingram Gallery through May 19, 2013.
Comprised of 73 paintings and 16 decorative arts, the exhibition sets the work of the great Dutch masters within the larger social, religious and political context of the Dutch Golden Age. Together these works provide a stunning survey of the art produced in the 17(th) century in the newly independent and prosperous Dutch Republic.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to bring to the Frist Center an exhibition entirely devoted to 17(th) century Dutch painting that has been selected from one of the largest collections of Dutch art outside of the Netherlands," Frist Center Executive Director Susan Edwards remarks. "In addition to presenting works of exceptional beauty by numerous Dutch masters, the exhibition offers rare insight into the social and political climate of this beloved era in art history."
"We are grateful to the H.G. Hill Realty Company for their generosity as our Gold Sponsor for Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age: Highlights from the Detroit Institute of Arts," says Dr. Edwards. "With their support, we are able to present some of the finest Dutch Golden Age paintings at the Frist Center and facilitate more opportunities for education and engagement."
"As a family owned and operated company in Nashville for five generations, we are extremely invested in supporting and furthering our community," says Wentworth Caldwell, Jr., Chairman of the H. G. Hill Company. "To be able to bring some of the great art of the world to Middle Tennessee and, in turn, the many educational and community outreach opportunities it affords is a joy for us."
The exhibition will open with a gallery focusing on Rembrandt, the most innovative, versatile and influential Dutch artist of the 17(th) century. "Rembrandt did not specialize in any one kind of painting, which distinguishes him from his contemporaries," explains Frist Center Curator Trinita Kennedy. "His vast production of paintings ranges across virtually every thematic category: genre, history painting, landscape, portraiture and still life. He was highly inventive and his work has never lost its extraordinary appeal."
The first gallery will also present works by Rembrandt's teacher, the Amsterdam painter Pieter Lastman, and Rembrandt's own students and followers. Rembrandt was famous in his own day and ran an important workshop. While his exact number of pupils is unknown, it may have been as many as 40 to 50. "Rembrandt's students copied and collaborated on his paintings and it can be difficult to distinguish their work from his own," Kennedy observes. "Since the early 19(th) century, each generation of art historians has sought to define what was painted by Rembrandt, his pupils, his workshop, his circle and his followers. In this exhibition, we get to see how scholars are presently interpreting Rembrandt's body of work."
After the opening gallery with works by Rembrandt and his circle, the rest of the paintings in the exhibition will be organized thematically, with galleries dedicated to: Portraiture: Faces of the Dutch Golden Age (featuring works by Frans Hals); Biblical Histories: The Impact of Calvinism on Religious Art in the Dutch Republic (Leonaert Bramer); Dutch Peasant Scenes and the Perils of Debauchery (Jan Steen); Domestic Interiors: Inner Worlds of the Dutch Republic (Pieter de Hooch, Gerard Ter Borch); Still-Life Painting: The World in Objects (Willem Kalf; Rachel Ruysch); Dutch Architectural Painting: Cityscapes and Church Interiors (Emmanuel de Witte); Marine Painting and the Global Dutch Economy (Ludolf Backhuysen); and Dutch Landscapes: Local Scenery and Pride of Place (Jacob van Ruisdael).
Frist Center Educator for Youth and Family Programs, Keri Jhaveri, has developed an educational component to enhance the visitor's experience of Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age. In addition to 16 educational text panels, there will be 14 QR codes placed throughout the galleries that offer access to additional information designed to help visitors better understand the Dutch Golden Age and the social environment in which these objects were made. The text panels will describe the cultural context of the surrounding works, while the QR codes invite visitors with Smartphones to access additional images, audio files, and videos. Curator of Interpretation, Anne Taylor, has created a web-based Rembrandt and the Dutch Golden Age app that will also be available and can be accessed both on mobile devices and home computers.
Founded in 1885, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) possesses one of the most significant collections of 17(th)-century Dutch paintings in the United States. Its constellation of Dutch masters is notably large and is crowned by signature works by Frans Hals, Rembrandt van Rijn, Jacob van Ruisdael, Rachel Ruysch, Jan Steen, and Gerhard Ter Borch. The acquisition of Dutch painting has occupied a prominent position at the DIA since the late 19(th) century after a gift of over 80 European Old Master paintings--which included numerous Dutch Golden Age pictures--was bequeathed to the museum by founding trustee James E. Scripps. Beginning in 1924, the DIA's Dutch collection was further shaped by Director William Valentiner, who was a Rembrandt specialist. Under his direction, the DIA made the spectacular acquisition of both Rembrandt's The Visitation and Jacob van Ruisdael's The Jewish Cemetery, which are universally recognized as sublime masterpieces of 17(th) century Dutch painting. The DIA continues to collect Dutch Golden Age painting to this day.
This exhibition was organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Special thanks to Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios and Belmont University for their donation of recording time and professional expertise in the production of the exhibition audio tour.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, located at 919 Broadway in downtown Nashville, Tenn., is an art exhibition center dedicated to presenting the finest visual art from local, regional, U.S. and international sources in a program of changing exhibitions. The Frist Center's Martin ArtQuest Gallery (open until 5:30 p.m. each day) features interactive stations relating to Frist Center exhibitions.
Gallery admission to the Frist Center is free for visitors 18 and younger and to Frist Center members. Frist Center admission is $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for seniors, military and college students with ID. College students are admitted free Thursday and Friday evenings (with the exception of Frist Fridays), 5-9 p.m. Discounts are offered for groups of 10 or more with advance reservation by calling 615.744.3247. The Frist Center is open seven days a week: Mondays through Wednesdays, and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5:30 p.m., with the Frist Center Cafe opening at noon. Additional information is available by calling 615. 244.3340 or by visiting the website at www.fristcenter.org.