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Metropolitan Curator Walter Liedtke, our friend and distinguished colleague (1945-2015)
Walter Liedtke was one of the world's leading scholars of Dutch and Flemish paintings. Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

By: Thomas P. Campbell


NEW YORK, NY.- The news that Walter Liedtke was among the victims of the Metro-North train crash on Monday night sent shock waves through the Museum. We had all heard about the accident, some considered for a moment who they knew who took that route, but then life continued. The revelation the next morning that among the five people in that first train car was one of our own curators suddenly made the world feel impossibly small. For 35 years, Walter had come and gone from the Met every day, and now that would never happen again.

Walter was an original. Always nattily dressed, his hair just so and his mustache perfect, he seemed to have emerged from another era rather than from an office on the second floor. He was, of course, one of the world's leading scholars of Dutch and Flemish paintings, deeply devoted to his collection, which included the Met's legendary Rembrandts and Vermeers. He knew those pictures like old friends, and described them with an intimacy and spirit that was mesmerizing. In fact, his distinctive voice was among his unique characteristics: careful and deliberate, but somehow lyrical in its unhurried measure. And he had opinions: deep, strong, expressive opinions. Those opinions and his vigor in delivering them will be among the many things that we will miss.

We have included links here to Walter's obituary, to the many tributes that outline his significant accomplishments as a curator and scholar, and to some of the wonderful videos we have of him talking about works of art. Those achievements will be his legacy. But I also want people to understand that this was a man who was part of something much bigger, a Museum that considers its staff family. We work together and we grow together, we strive and we celebrate together. And today, we mourn together for a friend and colleague who will be long remembered by us all.

"Walter Liedtke, Curator at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dies at 69" (The New York Times, February 4, 2015)

Connections: "Living with Vermeer" (2011)

82nd & Fifth: "The Choice" (2013)

"Remembering Walter Liedtke, Metropolitan Museum Curator Killed in Metro-North Train Crash" (Artnet, February 5, 2015)

"Walter Liedtke, Consummate Curator of Dutch and Flemish Painting, Dies in a Train Crash" (CultureGrrl, February 4, 2015)






Today's News

February 6, 2015

Exhibition of masterpieces from The Frick Collection opens today at Holland's Mauritshuis

Metropolitan Curator Walter Liedtke, our friend and distinguished colleague (1945-2015)

National Gallery of Art announces acquisition of more than 6,000 works of art from the Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Broad, new contemporary art museum in Los Angeles, to open to the public September 20

Free visits at Louvre as French archaeologists protest; 100 protesters block the ticketing area

Expedition by archaeologists from the Western Australian Museum reveals new Batavia burial site

'American Encounters: The Simple Pleasures of Still Life' opens at the Louvre

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall mark the launch of London Craft Week

The Hepworth Wakefield presents the UK's first major exhibition of work by Lynda Benglis

'Dahl and Friedrich: Romantic Landscapes' opens at the Albertinum in Dresden

RM Auctions returns to Paris for its second sale during the Retromobile week, posting over €19 million in sales

ZERO & More: Heinz Mack opens a major solo exhibition at Ben Brown Fine Arts

Magnificent 1:10 scale model of lost Japanese architectural treasure returns to Tokyo

Curioos ushers in new age of art trading with augmented reality app

Exhibition of works by Keith Sonnier opens at Castelli Gallery

Moscow Museum of Modern Art opens retrospective exhibition of Sveta Vikkers' work

Hugh Scott-Douglas' first solo show in London opens at Simon Lee Gallery

Online luxury marketplace 1stdibs launches first ever mobile app

More than a quarter of a million people visit 'Rembrandt: The Late Works' at the National Gallery

Rare jeweled Chinese tribute clock to star at Bonhams

Tsibi Geva selected to represent Israel at the 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennale di Venezia

Solo exhibition of Tibetan-American artist Palden Weinreb's works opens at Rossi & Rossi

'I'm not an enemy': Moscow exhibit showcases Gulag letters

Nye and Company announce first sale of the season now live on iGavel

Sigmar Polke rasterbilder painting for sale at Bonhams

The Hollywood Museum opens 'Celebration of Entertainment Awards' special award season exhibition

Exhibition of work by Bay Area–artist Vanessa Marsh opens at Dolby Chadwwick Gallery

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