CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Brueghel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish drawings from the Maida and George Abrams collection

Exhibition: 13 June - 22 September 2002


William W. Robinson and Martin Royalton-Kisch.

From the museum press release

This exhibition presents around 110 works from the world’s outstanding private collection of Dutch 17th century drawings. Maida and George Abrams, a couple from Boston, Massachusetts, have assembled their collection during a period of more than forty years.

The exhibition opens with a few Flemish drawings of the 16th and early 17th centuries, including a recently rediscovered work by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, but the great majority are by 17th century Dutch artists. They range from studies by renowned masters–Rembrandt, Jacob van Ruisdael, Jacques de Gheyn II, Hendrick Goltzius, and Hendrick Avercamp among them–to works by lesser-known draughtsmen whose contributions are essential to understanding the art history of the period. Highlights of this group are seven drawings by Rembrandt, a diverse group by his pupils, excellent examples of Dutch landscapes, and figure studies and scenes of daily life by genre artists such as Willem Buytewech and Adriaen van Ostade. Of particular interest to the British public is a view of the Isle of Wight by the Rembrandt follower, Lambert Doomer (1624-1700). The artist visited Newport in 1646, and the drawing is one of the earliest known views of an identifiable stretch of the English countryside.

In 1999, Mr and Mrs Abrams donated more than 100 drawings from their collection to the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University. Sixteen of these are included in the exhibition.

William W. Robinson is Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings at the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University. Martin Royalton-Kisch is Senior Curator in the Department of Prints and Drawings at The British Museum.

The exhibition has been organised by the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.


A fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with detailed catalogue entries by William Robinson and two essays: George Abrams reflects on recent acquisitions for his collection; and Martin Royalton-Kisch examines the Abrams’s holdings within the tradition of collections of Dutch drawings in England, continental Europe and America. The catalogue will be published by the Harvard University Art Museums and distributed by Yale University Press (272 pages. 170 b/w + 110 colour illustrations).

Bruegel to Rembrandt: Dutch and Flemish drawings from the Maida and George Abrams collection, with an essay by Martin Royalton-Kisch, Cambridge (Harvard University Art Museums) and New Haven (Yale U.P.) 2002.
ISBN 0-300-09347-0 (hardbound).
ISBN 1-89177-124-8 (paperbound).

Other venues

Paris, Fondation Custodia (9 October-8 December 2002).

Cambridge (MA), Fogg Art Museum (22 March-15 June 2003).