CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Collecting Flemish Art: From 17th-Century Antwerp to the Present

11 May 2017

Collecting Flemish Art: From 17th-Century Antwerp to the Present

Symposium: 11 May 2017

These lectures address the collecting of Flemish Art in the early modern period from a local and a global perspective, considering the importance of social, cultural, and economic attitudes towards collecting, the role of artists and collectors, and the mobility of objects and knowledge in that context.

The premise of the series is to hold public lectures under the form of an evening program on Thursday, May 11. (On Friday, May 12, an extra workshop is taking place with an invited group of scholars. For more info: email to

Location: Explorers Club
46 East 70th Street, New York

6:15 pm Reception hosted by the General Delegation of the Government of Flanders to the USA

6:45 pm Introduction by Lara Yeager-Crasselt, Curator of The Leiden Collection in New York

7:00 pm First talk: Elizabeth Honig (UC Berkeley)
Where in the World?
The Travels of Brueg(h)el Paintings Through Art History & Data Science

Pieter and Jan Brueghel are major figures of Flemish cultural identity, yet few of their paintings remain in local collections. This outflow began in the years immediately after Pieter’s death; while almost all of his works soon found permanent places in major collections, Jan Brueghel’s many hundreds of paintings and drawings continue to circulate on the art market. Some, intended for major patrons at home and abroad, have remained immobile, but others have been constantly in motion over the centuries. By visualizing provenance data, we can see trends in the passage of these important Flemish artworks as they have traveled first across Europe and then around the globe.

Followed by Q&A

7:35 pm Second talk: Bert Watteeuw (Rubenianum, Antwerp)
VIVE L’ESPRIT: one collection, many connections
Revisiting Willem van Haecht’s 1628 Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest in the digital age

As the finest example of the Antwerp genre of painted art galleries, the Rubens House Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest, a 1628 masterpiece by Willem van Haecht, encapsulates the vibrant culture of connoisseurship and collecting that pervaded Antwerp during Rubens’s lifetime. The painting has an unmistakeable documentary value but it is also a manifesto. The composition is contained within an emphatically stage-like set and a large cast of identified actors is engaged in conversation, collective study, knowledge exchange, interaction, and performance. By so openly appealing to the viewer’s own visual intelligence, the painting continues to invite us to join the conversation.

Followed by Q&A

Space is limited; reservations are required. RSVP here

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