Beginning Sunday, February 19, the Cleveland Museum of Art
presents Rembrandt in America, the largest collection of authentic Rembrandt paintings assembled in the United States in a century and the first major exhibition to explore how the desire for Rembrandt paintings by American collectors has fueled research about the artists work. Rembrandt in America is complemented by an extensive program schedule, including a Rembrandt print exhibition with works from The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, lectures and gallery talks, and a conservation workshop. Rembrandt in America will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art from February 19 through May 28, 2012.
Rembrandt in America
Rembrandt in America considers the history of Rembrandt collecting in the United States, beginning when wealthy Americans cultivated a passion for collecting European Old Masters. The groundbreaking exhibition contains over 50 works, with about 30 autograph paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn. While the primary focus of Rembrandt in America is on the history of Rembrandt collecting and connoisseurship as it relates to his works residing in America, the show also explores his work across various genres, his artistic evolution, and his influence on other artists of the day. Included in the exhibition are a number of important portraits from Rembrandts early career in Amsterdam as the citys most sought-after portrait painter, as well as character studies, historical and biblical scenes, and three of his most celebrated self-portraits. Additional works on view in the exhibition were thought to be by the renowned Dutch artist when they entered American collections, but their attributions can no longer be maintained. Rembrandt in America therefore also offers a survey of Rembrandt as a painter and as a master, including works produced by his studio and a broader network of adapters, followers, and copyists.
Rembrandt Prints from The Morgan Library & Museum runs concurrently with Rembrandt in America and is installed in the museums Prints and Drawings Gallery. This exhibition displays 60 Rembrandt etchings, exploring the artists long and prolific career as a printmaker. From about 1626 to about 1661, Rembrandt executed some 370 prints that demonstrate that he was not only a gifted painter and superb draftsman but also an extremely experimental and original printmaker. Unlike his predecessors, who sought to achieve a standardized representation of the printed image with little variation from impression to impression, Rembrandt was inclined to experiment. By varying the support and how the plate was inked, he achieved an array of effects so that impressions from the same plate differ significantly.
Rembrandts prints cover a wide range of subjects, including Old and New Testament narratives, landscapes, portraits and self-portraits, nudes, and scenes from daily life. He sometimes returned to the same theme, allowing for a comparison of a subject executed decades apart, illustrating his artistic development and experimental advances. Rembrandts prints are some of the best ever madeevidence of a genius who exploited technical means for expressive purposes. Rembrandt Prints from The Morgan Library & Museum is curated by Jane Glaubinger, Cleveland Museum of Art, curator of prints.