The Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha has opened its reinstalled European Galleries in the Memorial Building. Since 20 May, the five galleries offer a renewed perspective on the museum’s significant holdings of European art. The galleries begin with Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque artists, continue with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century works by French and British painters, and conclude with Impressionism and the beginnings of modernism.
The reinstallation addressed several objectives, including renovating the physical gallery spaces for the first time since 2000; treating paintings and sculpture in need of conservation; and providing up-to-date interpretive content, including new wall labels and in-gallery technology.
Most significantly, the museum has recently acquired four new works for the European collection, all of which are now on view. These include Landscape with a Mill painted by Jan van Goyen in 1634, and a small-scale portrait of Nicolaes Willemsz. Lossy (ca. 1604-1664) painted by Gerard Donck. Lossy was the organist of the Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam and was portrayed by the artist together with his wife Marritgen Pieters.
De Heem reattributed
Through curatorial research during the reinstallation process, two works have been reattributed. These include a still life that was formerly attributed to Jan Davdsz. De Heem and has now been attributed to Claes Bergoijs (ca. 1651–1668). The museum provides the following reason: a spurious De Heem signature and date appear on the painting, however comparisons to Joslyn’s painting and those securely attributed to Bergoijs show parallels in the compositional structure, the use of fabric, and in the repetition of the same objects and their placement. Bergoijs emulated the Dutch still-life painter Willem Kalf, and Joslyn’s painting demonstrates a closer relationship between it and Kalf’s work.