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North Carolina Museum of Art volunteers win two paintings in a Bonhams auction
Jacob Toorenvliet, A Woman Holding a Basket of Eggs, 1667 (?), oil on copper, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of the NCMA Volunteers, 2014.

RALEIGH, NC.- The Volunteer Board of the North Carolina Museum of Art recently won two paintings by Dutch Golden Age painter Jacob van Toorenvliet in a Bonhams auction. The paintings—A Bearded Man Holding a Pipe and A Woman Holding a Basket of Eggs —will be added to the NCMA’s permanent collection and featured in the NCMA’s fall exhibition Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries. These are the first works from New York’s Leiden school to enter the Museum’s permanent collection.

The two paintings will be on view in Small Treasures, which opens October 11, 2014. The exhibition is the first exhibition to focus exclusively on small-format 17th-century Dutch and Flemish figure paintings. After the exhibition, if approved by the Board of Trustees for accession into the permanent collection, the paintings will be moved to the Museum’s Dutch and Flemish Gallery.

Dennis Weller, the NCMA’s curator of Northern European art, helped the volunteer committee select works of art on which to bid. On July 9, 2014, the committee members—Jackie Wade, Sylvia Gill, Lee Crosby, and Turid Teague—along with Volunteer Board Chair Walter Bull and NCMA Visitor Services Manager Robert Mlodzik, met in Weller’s office while Weller bid via telephone.

“A huge smile spread across Dennis’s face, and we all knew our bid had won,” says Robert Mlodzik. “He said simply, ‘We got it,’ and his office was soon filled with hoots of joy and applause.”

The volunteers have been raising funds for three years to purchase a work of art for the NCMA’s permanent collection. In 2011 the NCMA Volunteer Board formed an Art Acquisition Committee to achieve this goal, and volunteers raised money with two events and through private donations from the volunteers themselves.

“We could not have done this without our volunteers’ support,” says Jackie Wade. “This is a huge accomplishment, thanks to their hard work, dedication, and patience. I couldn’t be more excited!”

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