Thinking Small: Dutch Art to Scale explores an intriguing selection of objects from the seventeenth-century Netherlands that were designed to elicit slow, intimate, and contemplative engagement on the part of their original audiences. This student-curated exhibition features small-scale works in various media drawn from the rich holdings of the Yale University Art Gallery and other collections across campus, as well as the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a private collection. Amid the global expansion of Dutch commerce in this period, diagrams and maps miniaturized large geographic areas, and botanical books bore witness to their makers’ meticulous study of the natural world. Paintings filled with minute details enticed viewers to move close and scrutinize the image, while medals that were meant to be held in the hand served as cherished commemorative tokens. In their size or intricacy, the objects in Thinking Small compel viewers to reconsider their relationship to the world around them.
The exhibition is organized by Yale students Adam Chen, Ekaterina Koposova, Renata Nagy and Joyce Yusi Zhou under the mentorship of Marisa Bass, Jessie Park, and Freyda Spira, and in collaboration with the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.