Rembrandt under review in April 15 symposium and talk at art museum

Two events from Case Western Reserve University coincide with the exhibit about Rembrandt van Rijn currently at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “A Conversation with Mariët Westermann and Svetlana Alpers,” historians of with the master’s works, will take place from 3 to 5 p.m., Sunday, April 15. “Fresh Perspectives on an Old Master: Rembrandt van Rijn,” a symposium of research by young scholars, will be 12:30-3 p.m. Both will be in the museum’s Gartner Auditorium.

The free, public events are sponsored by the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities and the Department of Art History at Case Western Reserve University and the museum.

Before the two events, guests can tour the exhibit of more than 50 “autographed” works Americans have collected by the artist. Signatures are questionable for some paintings and drawings, and the exhibit examines a broad range of Rembrandt works, some from the master’s hand and others by those who copied and adapted his style.

During the talk, Alpers, professor emerita of art history from the University of California-Berkeley, joins Westermann, the vice president of the Andrew Mellon Foundation, for the conversation on Rembrandt and other Dutch masters.

“The conversation should be lively,” said Catherine Scallen, chair of the Department of Art History and Art and the organizer of the program and symposium.

Alpers and Westermann are well-published authors with books related to the current Rembrandt exhibit. Alpers had two controversial books: The Art of Describing and Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market.  Westermann has a survey of 17th century Dutch art, A Worldly Art: the Dutch Republic, 1585-1718 and Rembrandt, an account of the art and life of the painter.

The symposium presentations are:

  • Deborah Babbage, PhD candidate, Courtauld Institute of Art, Reassessing Rembrandt’s Pendant Portraits of Nicolaes van Bambeeck and Agatha Bas;
  • Victoria Sancho Lobis, curator of print collection and fine art galleries, University of San Diego, Invention as Instruction: Rembrandt’s “Academic” Prints and Their Intended Audience;
  • Esmée Quodbach, assistant director, Center for the History of Collecting, The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, Rembrandt on the Market: The Sale of the “Lansdowne Mill” in 1911;
  • Joanna Sheers, PhD candidate, New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, The Humanist Concept of “ut pictura poesis” in Rembrandt’s Artistic Practice.

Scallen and Jon L. Seydl, The Paul J. and Edith Ingalls Vignos Jr. Curator of European Painting & Sculpture, 1500–1800, at the Cleveland Museum of Art, will moderate the symposium.

No registration is required for the events. For information, call Maggie Kaminski in the Baker-Nord Center at 216.368.2242.