Archive for February, 2015

Vermeer-related lecture

February 28th, 2015
steadman

LUNCH HOUR LECTURE: VERMEER’S CAMERA AND TIM’S VERMEER
Philip Steadman
Darwin Lecture Theatre, Darwin Building, London
March 5, 2015, 13:15-13:55
price: free
contact: +44 (0)20 3108 3841 | events@ucl.ac.uk
event page

In 2001 Philip Steadman published Vermeer’s Camera, a book that offered new evidence that the great Dutch painter relied on optical methods. An American video engineer Tim Jenison read the book and, believing he could take the argument further, proposed a simple arrangement of lens and mirrors that Vermeer might have employed. Jenison used this setup to paint a version of Vermeer’s Music Lesson in the Queen’s collection. The process was filmed for the Oscar-shortlisted documentary Tim’s Vermeer, released in 2014. Jenison’s method throws more light, literally, on how Vermeer could have achieved his distinctively “photographic” tonal effects.

The lecture will be streamed live online and recorded for YouTube or downloaded.

Walter Liedtke dies in tragic train crash

February 8th, 2015
walter

Walter Liedtke, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and renowned Vermeer expert, died in the train incident outside New York on the evening of February 3. Walter was returning to his home in Bedford Hills, where he lived with his wife, Nancy. As was his habit, he was riding the front “quiet car,” in which he found the tranquility necessary for writing and reading. Five other people died in the accident.

Walter conjugated culture, curiosity, passion and rigor in whatever he wrote and in all the exhibitions he curated, whether it be the monumental Vermeer and the Delft School or the intimately scaled Vermeer’s Masterpiece: ‘The Milkmaid’. The catalogue of the former remains a fundamental contribution to the proper contextualization of the artist. His monograph (Vermeer: The Complete Paintings) constitutes a finely nuanced reading of the artist’s unique accomplishments in the light of modern Vermeer scholarship. But Walter’s interest in things Vermeer was wide and varied enough to comprise a computerized analysis of the weave of the artist’s canvases. 

Walter’s energy, brilliance and organizational capacity allowed him to publish extensively and curate a number of key exhibitions at the Metropolitan.

His most important exhibitions include:
Vermeer: il secolo d’oro dell’arte olandese (September 2012-January 2013), Rembrandt at Work: The Great Portrait from Kenwood House (April-May 2012), Vermeer’s Masterpiece: The Milkmaid (September-November 2009), The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 2007-January 2008) and Vermeer and the Delft School (June-September 2001). The latter brought in over 500,000 visitors to the Metropolitan.

His most important publications include:
Vermeer: The Complete Paintings (2008), Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001), Vermeer and the Delft School (1995), Rembrandt/not Rembrandt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship (1992) and Flemish Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1982).

remembering Walter:

Walter Liedtke, Curator at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dies at 69
—Randy Kennedy
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/arts/design/walter-liedtke-curator-at-metropolitan-museum-of-art-dies-at-69.html?_r=0 \>

Walter Liedtke: A Reflection and Appreciation
—Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/walter-liedtke-a-reflection-and-appreciation-1423263645

Walter Liedtke, Our Friend and Distinguished Colleague
—Thomas P. Campbell
http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/now-at-the-met/2015/walter-liedtke

The young Walter Liedtke
—Garry Schwartz
http://www.garyschwartzarthistorian.nl/schwartzlist/?id=198

How I knew Walter
—Jonathan Janson

I first met Walter thanks to a Vermeer Newsletter in which among other things I had announced a trip to New York. Walter immediately emailed me suggesting we see each other at the MET. This surprised me in that experience had taught me that members of major museums are not inclined to extend personal invitations to those outside the institutional setting encountered via internet. When we got together in New York, Walter was exceptionally open, frank and questioning, demonstrating an interest in the functioning and goals of my Vermeer website as well. After this visit he was always quick to reply to any question I might have.

Some years later on the occasion of a Vermeer and Dutch painting exhibition in Rome which he had curated (together with Arthur Wheelock), Walter and Nancy broke away from duties and Roman pleasures for a casual dinner at my home which turned into a Vermeer marathon. Conversation ranged from questions of attribution, art history on the internet, the organization of Italian art museums and painting technique, which Walter was keenly interested in knowing that I am a painter. Despite his daunting knowledge of Dutch painting and his austere public demeanor, Walter never once assumed the role of an authority whose opinions on Vermeer and art with a capital A are gospel. On the contrary.

Towards the end of autumn, Walter and Nancy returned to Rome. We visited the exhibition merging ourselves with the Italian crowd. Walter examined the pictures which he knew by rote as if he had never seen them before. We debated if the Young Lady Seated at the Virginal showed the charisma of a real Vermeer. To my personal reserves Walter responded that a picture does not necessarily have to please to be a Vermeer. I bade goodbye to Walter and Nancy who were swept away in a series of appointments with museum personnel and influential collectors.

In the last years we continued to have email exchanges. In the last one I received he wrote he was at the moment unable to answer by question becasue “I’ve been up since 5:00 dealing with an urgent El Greco project.”

When a friend from Seattle emailed me the day after Walter’s tragic death, I was stunned that a man who found time for everything and for everybody suddenly had no more time, but still, I am sure, many people around him.

video testimonies:
Mr. Liedtke’s Metropolitan presentation, Connections/Living with Vermeer:
http://www.metmuseum.org/connections/living_with_vermeer#/Feature/

Youtube video Mr. Liedtke’s discussion of Rembrandt’s Aristotle and Bust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2dCeTPDEKY

Surprise exhibition of Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter in Minneapolis

February 7th, 2015
inblue

MASTERPIECE IN FOCUS: JOHANNES VERMEER
January 16 – May 3, 2015
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Cargill Gallery)
Minneapolis, Minn.
price: free of charge
http://new.artsmia.org/masterpiece-in-focus/

article:
“On Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter: A Q&A with MIA’s Patrick Noon”
by Pamela Espeland
http://www.minnpost.com/artscape/2015/01/vermeers-woman-reading-letter-qa-mias-patrick-noon

lecture:
Lawrence Weschler | “Posers: Marvel, Majesty and Sovereignty among the Habsburgs and in Vermeer”
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm
http://new.artsmia.org/event/lawrence-weschler-%C7%80-posers-marvel-majesty-and-sovereignty-among-the-habsburgs-and-in-vermeer/

With one of the world’s finest Vermeer paintings presently residing at the MIA alongside a magnificent exhibition of Habsburg splendors, Lawrence Weschler will unpack a posit about posing and the posed. Kings, queens, noblemen, and noblewomen are continually striking a pose, but who exactly is posing whom (and what?) when a painter attempts to capture that stance? And what was Vermeer up to when he set about capturing something altogether new and different in his portraits? In other words, what does it mean to be sovereign—sovereign over what, in whose eyes, and to what end?

Lawrence Weschler is director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU and author of such books as Vermeer in Bosnia and Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder.

$10; $5 MIA members; free for Paintings Affinity Group members. To register, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

Two Vermeers to be shown in Boston

February 7th, 2015
lady

CLASS DISTINCTIONS: DUTCH PAINTING IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Ann and Graham Gund Gallery)
11 Oct. 2015 – 18 Jan., 2016
exhibition curators – Ronni Baer and William and Ann Elfers

from the museum website:
Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes.

On exhibition will be two splendid Vermeer paintings, A Lady Writing and The Astronomer.

The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.

New Vermeer monograph

February 7th, 2015
franits

VERMEER (ARTS AND IDEAS)
by Wayne Franits
March 23, 2015
http://it.phaidon.com/store/art/vermeer-9780714868790/

In this new monograph, the latest in Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer’s most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. All paintings by Vermeer are illustrated.

about the author:
Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

Vermeer’s Astronomer travels to Japan

February 7th, 2015
gio

LOUVRE MUSEUM: GENRE PAINTING – SCENES FROM DAILY LIFE
February 21 – June 1, 2015
The National Art Center, Tokyo, Japan
http://www.nact.jp/english/exhibitions/2015/louvre2015/index.html

from the museum website:
Genre painting refers to works that deal with the subject of everyday life. This exhibition, made up of 83 works that were carefully selected from the Musée du Louvre’s massive collection, traces the development of genre painting across four centuries, from the Renaissance to the mid-19th century.

In addition to Vermeer’s The Astronomer, which will be shown in Japan for the first time, the exhibition presents works by prominent painters from every era and region including Tiziano, Rembrandt, Murillo, Watteau, Chardin, and Millet, allowing viewers to enjoy the diverse charms of genre painting.