The Old Master paintings belonging to the city of Amsterdam have been published in a complete catalogue for the first time and put on a new section of the museum website. Many of the paintings are reproduced in color for the first time.
The book launching was marked by a symposium in the museum, with presentations on paintings in the collection.
Het Amsterdams Historisch Museum bezit een omvangrijke en belangrijke collectie schilderijen van oude meesters. Nadat in 1979 een voorlopige catalogus van deze collectie was gepubliceerd, zal op dinsdag 8 juli 2008 een nieuwe wetenschappelijke catalogus verschijnen. Deze catalogus is samengesteld door de conservator Norbert Middelkoop en bevat een keur aan nieuwe gegevens en inzichten. Ter gelegenheid van deze gebeurtenis organiseert het Amsterdams Centrum voor de Studie van de Gouden Eeuw, in samenwerking met het Genootschap Amstelodamum en het Amsterdams Historisch Museum, een symposium waarbij enkele medewerkers aan het catalogiseringsproject resultaten van hun onderzoek zullen presenteren.
Following the symposium, the new catalogue of paintings before 1800, De Oude Meesters van de stad Amsterdam: schilderijen tot 1800, published by Uitgeverij Thoth in Hilversum, was presented.
The catalogue provides small black-and-white images of and basic information on all 1000 paintings belonging to the city of Amsterdam, including those outside the museum, mainly in the Rijksmuseum. 137 of the best paintings in the Amsterdam Historical Museum are reproduced in color and provided with extensive entries by Norbert Middelkoop, with a few by Judith van Gent. The catalogue sections are complemented by essays on the history of the curatorship of the colection by Gusta Reichwein and on the history of the Old Masters collection of the city of Amsterdam by Norbert Middelkoop.
The presentation had a very personal and moving character. The first copy was given by Femke Diercks, a young curator-in-training who spoke at the symposium, to her grandfather, Simon Levie, the director of the museum in the 1970s, when the present building in the former Amsterdam orphanage was turned into the Amsterdam Historical Museum. In his own speech, Levie called for a moment of silence in memory of the late Bob Haak. Haak was chief curator under Levie during the rebuilding of the Amsterdam orphanage to Amsterdam Historical Museum and Levie’s successor as director. The new catalogue is dedicated to Levie, Haak and the present director, Pauline Kruseman.
To cap it off, the head of collections at the museum and author of an essay in the catalogue, Gusta Reichwein, introduced the new section of the museum website in which the complete holdings of paintings until 1800 are presented. The website project was led by Judith van Gent. More paintings are offered in color on the website than in the book. They may be downloaded at no cost for study purposes.
De Oude Meesters van de stad Amsterdam: schilderijen tot 1800
Norbert E. Middelkoop, with contributions by Gusta Reichwein and Judith van Gent
Collection catalogue of paintings painted up to 1800 owned by the city of Amsterdam, with special emphasis on the best pieces now preserved in the Amsterdam Historical Museum
304 pp., 29 x 24 cm., richly illustrated in color and black-and-white, hardbound
Bussum (Uitgeverij THOTH) and Amsterdam (Amsterdams Historisch Museum) 2008