Rembrandt exhibition to debut at NC art museum

Posted September 13, 2011
Updated October 25, 2011

— The largest number of Rembrandt paintings from American collections ever assembled will debut at the North Carolina Museum of Art in October, officials said Tuesday.

The Rembrandt in America exhibition will present more than 30 autograph paintings by the Dutch master on loan from private collections and more than two dozen American art museums. Officials said it is the first major exhibition to explore how the desire for Rembrandt paintings by American collectors fueled critical connoisseurship and research about the artist’s work.

After its Raleigh debut, the exhibition will  will visit the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in 2012.

“This exhibition is a visual treat of some of Rembrandt’s finest paintings now residing in American collections," Dennis Weller, curator of Northern European art at the North Carolina Museum of Art, said in a statement. "The show also offers a rare opportunity for visitors to follow the evolving opinions of scholars regarding what makes for an authentic painting by Rembrandt.”

The history of Rembrandt collecting in the United States began in the late 19th century, when wealthy American industrialists, including J. Paul Getty, Andrew Mellon and George Eastman, desired these works of art as trophies for their collections, officials said. A collecting frenzy erupted, and paintings by Rembrandt left Europe in substantial numbers for America.

In this highly competitive and lucrative market, many of the works that came to America were misattributed to Rembrandt van Rijn by scholars and art dealers, officials said, noting that America soon became the proving ground for new Rembrandt discoveries and reattributions.

Each venue will display 15 to 20 Dutch paintings that were attributed to Rembrandt at some point during their history in American collections but have since been ascribed to his pupils and contemporaries, officials said.

“Rembrandt collecting has always been a challenging field and questions of authenticity have plagued Rembrandts for centuries, even during the artist’s own lifetime,” Jon Seydl, the Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos Jr. Curator of European Paintings and Sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art, said in a statement. “American audiences will now enjoy not only the opportunity to surround themselves with so many of Rembrandt’s works but also the chance to explore why some works attributed to him have been reconsidered."

One of the most important painters in the history of European art, Rembrandt is renowned for his ability to depict light and shadow, capture the emotions of his sitters and share historical and religious stories. He was born in 1606 in Leiden, in the Dutch Republic, now The Netherlands, and spent most of his career in Amsterdam.

“Rembrandt’s development as a painter, from brash young artist to confident master to resolute observer of timeless humanity, is well documented in this exhibition with works spanning nearly the full extent of his remarkable career,” Thomas Rassieur, curator of prints and drawings at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, said in a statement.

The exhibition will run from Oct. 30 through Jan. 22 at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Tickets go on sale Thursday and are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students and $12 for children ages 7 to 12.

Tickets can be purchased online, by phone at 919-715-5923 or in person at the museum box office.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • tarheeljd2 Sep 14, 2011

    @warbirdlover....I've seen the Sistine Chapel and it will change your life. And this is before the renovation to it. This is a big coup for the museum. Good for them and us.

  • honans77 Sep 13, 2011

    @ they dont arrest you if you stand to long in front of the Mona Lisa...I have done it...They even have couches there so you can sit and stare

  • brendalove Sep 13, 2011

    I'll be there...probably BY MYSELF as usual, I swear I can't find any folks interested in art or literature. I need to get out more.

  • warbirdlover Sep 13, 2011

    I needed a good reason to just go hang out somewhere. No better of place than to go than the Art Museum, and look at some real artistic works. Not that rubbish that some people call art. The works of the Masters is awe inspiring. In my opinion there hasn't been a decent artist in 100 years. I read somewhere that if you stand too long in front of Mona Lisa, alarms will sound, because they think you are casing the joint. I have always wanted to see the work of Michealangelo's Sisten Chapel, and the works of Leonardo DeVinci. The two greatest artist of all time, Period!!!!

  • jollyrogered Sep 13, 2011

    Fantastic collection, looking forward to going!

  • bjm011366 Sep 13, 2011

    I'd like to go, but I'm not going to pay to see them.

  • smaki1252 Sep 13, 2011

    I saw some fabulous Rembrandt works at the Hermitge in St Petersburg in Russia. At the time I wasn't much of an art fan but my traveling companion and I had our own tour guide who was an art history expert and she opened my eyes in a big way. I WILL be going to this show.....can't wait.

  • PhotoJ Sep 13, 2011

    You do not have to be an art afficionado to appreciate beauty such as this. No matter your tastes, everyone should go to this exhibit - we might not have a chance at seeing such a robust collection this close by any time soon.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 13, 2011

    Oooh! I'm so excited. LOL.

  • honans77 Sep 13, 2011

    I so cannot wait... an amazing oportunity to see a truely amazing artist's work Oh hurry up October.