The exhibition Image in Dispute: Dutch & Flemish Art from the Haggerty Museum of Art’s Collection, curated by dr. Kirk Nickel, Marc and Lillian Rojtman Consulting Curator of European Art, features more than 50 paintings, engravings, and etchings selected from the Haggerty’s holdings of Early Modern art.
The Haggerty’s first exhibition of historical Dutch and Flemish art in more than 30 years, Image in Dispute explores how artists in the Low Countries—modern Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands—responded to the extraordinary upheaval experienced in their homeland between 1560 and 1680. Religious difference was an explosive factor during this period, contributing to ongoing tensions and acutely visible in the shocking Iconoclasm of 1566, when members of Reformed communities across the Low Countries “cleansed” Catholic churches by violently removing their sacred images. Over these years, the region transformed from a single political entity into a divided territory comprised of the Spanish Netherlands and the new Dutch Republic. The redefinition of this region and its people entailed decades of intermittent warfare, enormous loss of life, and cycles of economic boom and bust. For many artists, the assault on traditional religious imagery resulted in decades of intense professional, as well as personal, uncertainty.
As the Haggerty Museum of Art looks toward its fortieth anniversary in 2024, the Museum is particularly excited that Image in Dispute will highlight the tremendous generosity of its Milwaukee-based supporters. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Haggerty is preparing a catalog of selected Dutch and Flemish paintings from its collection, to be published later this fall.