Friday February 3, 2012
Tags for: Rembrandt in America Opens at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Press Release

Rembrandt in America Opens at the Cleveland Museum of Art

exterior of the CMA building

CLEVELAND (February 3, 2012) – Beginning Sunday, February 19, the Cleveland Museum of Art presents Rembrandt in America, the largest collection of authentic Rembrandt paintings assembled in the United States in a century and the first major exhibition to explore how the desire for Rembrandt paintings by American collectors has fueled research about the artist's work. Rembrandt in America is complemented by an extensive program schedule, including a Rembrandt print exhibition with works from The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City, lectures and gallery talks, and a conservation workshop. Rembrandt in America will be on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art from February 19 through May 28, 2012.

About Rembrandt in America
Rembrandt in America considers the history of Rembrandt collecting in the United States, beginning when wealthy Americans cultivated a passion for collecting European Old Masters. The groundbreaking exhibition contains over 50 works, with about 30 autograph paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn. While the primary focus of Rembrandt in America is on the history of Rembrandt collecting and connoisseurship as it relates to his works residing in America, the show also explores his work across various genres, his artistic evolution, and his influence on other artists of the day. Included in the exhibition are a number of important portraits from Rembrandt's early career in Amsterdam as the city's most sought-after portrait painter, as well as character studies, historical and biblical scenes, and three of his most celebrated self-portraits. Additional works on view in the exhibition were thought to be by the renowned Dutch artist when they entered American collections, but their attributions can no longer be maintained. Rembrandt in America therefore also offers a survey of Rembrandt as a painter and as a master, including works produced by his studio and a broader network of adapters, followers, and copyists.

Tickets for Rembrandt in America are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and college students, and $7 for children ages 6 to 17, children 5 and under free. The exhibition is free for museum members.

Rembrandt in America is accompanied by a 240-page catalog authored by Dennis P. Weller, Tom Rassieur, and George S. Keyes, former chief curator at the Detroit Institute of Arts. An introduction focusing on Rembrandt as a cultural phenomenon is followed by essays devoted to his life, the controversies associated with his workshop, and the pursuit of Rembrandt in America. Published by Skira Rizzoli, the catalog contains 150 color illustrations and is available in hardback and paperback.

The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In Cleveland, the exhibition is sponsored by AkzoNobel, makers of Glidden™ paint. Additional support provided by KeyBank. Educational programs are supported in part by the Harold C. Schott Foundation.

Programming Highlights
Programming for individuals, families, and students of all ages will complement the exhibition throughout its Cleveland run. Following is a list of key exhibition programs:

Rembrandt Prints from The Morgan Library & Museum runs concurrently with Rembrandt in America and is installed in the museum's Prints and Drawings Gallery. This exhibition displays 60 Rembrandt etchings, exploring the artist's long and prolific career as a printmaker. From about 1626 to about 1661, Rembrandt executed some 370 prints that demonstrate that he was not only a gifted painter and superb draftsman but also an extremely experimental and original printmaker. Unlike his predecessors, who sought to achieve a standardized representation of the printed image with little variation from impression to impression, Rembrandt was inclined to experiment. By varying the support and how the plate was inked, he achieved an array of effects so that impressions from the same plate differ significantly.

Rembrandt's prints cover a wide range of subjects, including Old and New Testament narratives, landscapes, portraits and self-portraits, nudes, and scenes from daily life. He sometimes returned to the same theme, allowing for a comparison of a subject executed decades apart, illustrating his artistic development and experimental advances. Rembrandt's prints are some of the best ever made—evidence of a genius who exploited technical means for expressive purposes. Rembrandt Prints from The Morgan Library & Museum is curated by Jane Glaubinger, Cleveland Museum of Art, curator of prints.

Rembrandt as Painter and Etcher: A Closer Look, Sunday, February 19, 2:00 p.m., Recital Hall. Free.
Rembrandt is contradictory. He rejected the criticism of others, yet he was his own harshest critic. He was castigated by the church, but his visual interpretations of the Bible have outlasted the words of the preachers. Join the exhibition co-curator Tom Rassieur, John E. Andrus III Curator of Prints and Drawings, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, for a closer look at this most fascinating artist.

On the Jodenbreestraat: Rembrandt and the Jews in Seventeenth-Century Amsterdam, Sunday, March 4, 2:00 p.m. Recital Hall. Free.
This talk explores the notion of Rembrandt as a philo-Semite, examining the nuances of his mythologized rapport with the Jews in 17th-century Amsterdam. Whatever the truth behind the Dutch Master's decision to live among Jews in the neighborhood known as the Jodenbreestraat (Jewish Broad Street), Rembrandt's affect on later generations of Jewish artists cannot be denied. Samantha Baskind, Associate Professor of Art History, Cleveland State University looks into this legacy.

The Dutch Golden Age: Trade, Shipping and the Pigments for Artist's Paintbrushes (1590–1672), Sunday, March 18, 2:00 p.m. Recital Hall. Free.
The Dutch maritime economy during the Golden Age went through several different phases. Jonathan Israel, Professor of Modern European History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton considers whether the ups and downs in Dutch trade are reflected in the noticeable shifts and changes in coloring evident on the Dutch artistic scene. Could there be an economic explanation for the shift from rich coloring to grayish monotones in the 1620s and 1630s, and then back to richer coloring again in the 1650s?

Mapping Rembrandt, Sunday, March 25, 2:00 p.m. Recital Hall. Free.
Past restorations often interfere with our ability to understand or fully appreciate works of art. Portrait of a Woman by Rembrandt (or Workshop), in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, has a history of restorative interventions. Dean Yoder, Paintings Conservator for the Cleveland Museum of Art, will explain how high resolution photographs, under different light and energy sources, were assembled and diagrammed for this particular painting in order to separate past restoration treatments from the original paint. This study, also featured within the Rembrandt in America exhibition, is designed to open this unique process of discovery to the public.

Rembrandt: Innovative Printmaker, Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m., Recital Hall. Free.
In conjunction with the companion exhibition, Rembrandt Prints from The Morgan Library & Museum. Join Jane Glaubinger, Cleveland Museum of Art curator of prints, and learn how Rembrandt experimented as a printmaker, achieving an array of effects. Rembrandt also explored many subjects, including Old and New Testament narratives, landscapes, portraits, and scenes from daily life. Rembrandt's prints are some of the best ever made—evidence of a genius who exploited technical means for expressive purposes. Sponsored by the Print Club of Cleveland.

Fresh Perspectives on an Old Master: Rembrandt Van Rijn, Sunday, April 15, 12:30–5:00 p.m., Recital Hall. Free.

New Research by Young Scholars 12:30–3:00 p.m.
Papers presented by four young scholars

A Conversation with Dr. Svetlana Alpers and Dr. Mariët Westermann
3:15–4:45 p.m.
Dr. Mariët Westermann, Director, Mellon Foundation
Dr. Svetlana Alpers, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Moderated by Dr. Catherine Scallen, Associate Professor of Art History, CWRU
These two prominent scholars of Dutch art will discuss why Rembrandt van Rijn's technique and subject matter continue to fascinate art viewers hundreds of years after his own time. The way he made his art and the way we view it will be the focus of their conversation. Co-sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, CWRU.

Rembrandt Family Day, Sunday, March 4, 1:00–4:00 p.m. Free.
Bring the family to celebrate Rembrandt's work through fun, art-making activities, and special tours and a scavenger hunt in the exhibition.

Most films $9; CMA members, seniors 65 & over, students $7; or one CMA Film Series voucher. Tickets are available through the museum's online box office at or by phone at 216 421-7350 or 888-CMA-0033.

Rembrandt, Wednesday, April 11, 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Alexander Korda. This visually striking biopic begins with the great Dutch painter at the height of his fame and success. But soon trials and tragedies alter his artistry.

Nightwatching, Friday, April 13, 6:30 p.m.; Sunday, April 15, 1:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 21, 1:30. p.m.
Directed by Peter Greenaway. Unreleased theatrically in the U.S., this recent feature from the director of The Draughtsman's Contract and The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover posits that Rembrandt's portrait of civilian militiamen in his famous painting "The Nightwatch" also immortalized a murder conspiracy within their ranks. Adults only! Ohio theatrical premiere.

Rembrandt's J'Accuse, Saturday, April 14, 1:30 p.m.; Friday, April 20, 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, April 22, 1:30 p.m.
Directed by Peter Greenaway. The companion piece to Greenaway's dramatic feature Nightwatching is part film essay, part art history lecture. The erudite director takes a forensic look at Rembrandt's famous painting "The Nightwatch," arguing that this portrait of the Amsterdam civic leaders who commissioned it actually contains evidence of a murder plot within their ranks. This led to Rembrandt's fall from their good graces. Ohio theatrical premiere.

Exhibition tours will take place every Thursday at 1:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m., March 1–May 20. Exhibition ticket required.

Rembrandt in America—Music and Conversation, Wednesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall. Free.
CMA curator Jon Seydl sits down with keyboard specialist Peter Bennett to discus music and art surrounding the life of Rembrandt van Rijn. Performances of short works for harpsichord are interspersed with free-flowing conversation for an illuminating evening of intersections and insights.

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261