Global Encounters in Antwerp Cabinets
In the seventeenth century, multimedia art cabinets, now commonly referred to as kunstkasten, were manufactured in great numbers in Antwerp. As objects with German origins, constructed from imported materials and knowledge, marketed to a diverse, pan-European audience, and traded for goods from the Americas, kunstkasten were truly global objects. They were embedded in a complex matrix of material, commercial, and cultural networks that spanned Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. These cabinets not only contained, but also transformed and de/recontextualized the objects stored inside them. Furthermore, their multimedia construction, which recruited the diverse skills of Antwerp artists and craftsmen, and their incorporation of pictorial programs that referenced paintings, prints, book illustrations, and textiles, promoted and disseminated local crafts and idioms internationally. This case study examines how kunstkasten played an important role in the global dispersal of Southern Netherlandish art in the seventeenth century and beyond.
Het Noordbrabants Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch
Dr. Nadia Groeneveld-Baadj is Curator of Old Masters at Het Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch. She studied Art History at the University of Virginia (B.A.), Williams College (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.), where she wrote her dissertation on Jan van Kessel the Elder and the intersection of art-making, natural history, and collecting in 17th-century Antwerp. She previously worked at the Clark Art Institute, where she curated A Dutch Master: Two Portraits by Frans Hals Reunited, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Museum Gouda, where she assisted with the exhibition Beleef het Wonder van Gouda. She also worked as a researcher and lecturer at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the University of Bern. She has published on various aspects of Southern Netherlandish art, including Antwerp kunstkasten and paintings on copper and stone. She is currently preparing an exhibition about all five generations of the Brueghel family that will open in September 2023.