From the museum press release, 16 August 2011
From 1 October 2011 to 8 January 2012 the Rembrandt House Museum is showing a selection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings from the collection of Alfred Bader of Milwaukee. It is the first time that so many of the most important works in the Bader Collection have been exhibited outside the United States. Among them are several paintings that Bader presented as a gift to the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen’s University. The exhibition includes three works by Rembrandt.
Alfred Bader left his birthplace, Vienna, in 1938 on the first Kindertransport. After a brief spell in England he ended up in Canada in 1940. After the war Bader studied chemistry at Harvard University, where he also attended lectures in art history by Jakob Rosenberg, an expert in the art of the Golden Age. A lifelong passion was born. For more than sixty years Bader has been collecting old master paintings, many of them with a direct connection to Rembrandt. He is also recognized for a number of discoveries and attributions of paintings from Rembrandt’s school that he has made.
Alongside paintings by Rembrandt and his earliest colleague, Jan Lievens, there are works by Rembrandt’s pupils, among them Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, Aert de Gelder, Govert Flinck and Nicolaes Maes, and by his predecessors Pieter Lastman and Jacob Pynas. We can see Bader’s liking for power and drama in paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael, Michiel Sweerts, Jacob van Campen and many others. A great many of the works have Biblical or mythological subjects. The portrait is well represented and there are some splendid landscapes. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to see Rembrandt, his school and his well-known contemporaries through the eyes of a collector whose love of art was ignited by the work of Rembrandt – the greatest painter of the Golden Age.
The Bader Collection I: Dutch and Flemish Paintings
David De Witt
Kingston (The Agnes Etherington Art Centre) 2008
In Rembrandt’s Footsteps. Dutch Paintings from the Bader Collection, Amsterdam, 2011