The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston announced to open their newly renovated galleries of Dutch and Flemish Art on 20 November 2021.
The opening celebrates the launch of the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA), an innovative center for scholarship housed at the MFA and the first resource of its kind in the USA. The CNA was established with initial endowment funds from Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie, given as part of a landmark 2017 gift that also included many of the paintings that will be on view in the new galleries.
A suite of seven renovated galleries at the MFA will employ up-to-date research to explore the nexus between art, commerce and science in the Dutch Republic and Flanders. Nearly 100 paintings by the greatest masters—including Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Gerrit Dou, Frans Hals, and Anthony van Dyck—plus works on paper and decorative arts such as silver and Delft ceramics represent this rich visual culture. Organized thematically, the installation examines a variety of subjects: women artists and patrons; the growth of a modern art market; and the unexpected connection between still life paintings, the sugar trade and slavery. Among the many highlights are Rembrandt’s moving Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh, a Dutch doll’s house filled with nearly 200 miniature furnishings, and an early self-portrait by Van Dyck posing as Icarus, painted when the artist was just 19 years old.
Last year, Christopher Atkins – the Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director of the Center for Netherlandish Art – was interviewed by Helen Hillyard on the founding of the CNA and the re-presentation of the collection. This CODARTfeature is available here.