Cover image for America and the Art of Flanders: Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles Edited by Esmée Quodbach

America and the Art of Flanders

Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles

Edited by Esmée Quodbach

BUY

$69.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08608-8

248 pages
8" × 10"
92 color/6 b&w illustrations
2020
Co-published with The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection Studies in the History of Art Collecting in America

America and the Art of Flanders

Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles

Edited by Esmée Quodbach

America and the Art of Flanders is yet another excellent volume in an already impressive series on the history of collecting in the United States. It investigates the changing interest in Flemish art over time—and what happens when private love of art becomes institutional collecting. It also deals with many different American museum collections as part of a greater national collection. This is rarely done, and it is great food for thought.”

 

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The United States possesses extraordinary holdings of seventeenth-century Flemish paintings. In this pioneering and richly illustrated volume, twelve scholars and museum curators reveal the origins of these collections by examining the American approach to and interest in the collecting of Flemish art over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Chronicling in lively detail the roles played by individuals in forming private and public collections, the essays in this volume illuminate how and why collectors and museums in the United States embraced the Flemish masters with such enthusiasm. They trace how the taste for specific genres and the appreciation for certain artists, in particular Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, changed over the years, and they explore the historical and cultural motivations behind these trends. In doing so, they consider the effect of the great bequests of Flemish paintings to American museums and examine the private collections of the main tastemakers for Flemish painting, including the Baltimore merchant Robert Gilmor; John Graver Johnson, the leading corporate lawyer of the Gilded Age; and the California oil magnate J. Paul Getty. Gorgeously illustrated with almost one hundred representative pieces, this important contribution to the scholarship on American collecting of Flemish art will interest art lovers and stimulate further research in the fields of art history and museum history.

In addition to the editor, the contributors include Ronni Baer, Adam Eaker, Lance Humphries, George S. Keyes, Margaret R. Laster, Alexandra Libby, Louisa Wood Ruby, Dennis P. Weller, Arthur K. Wheelock, Marjorie Wieseman, and Anne T. Woollett.

America and the Art of Flanders is yet another excellent volume in an already impressive series on the history of collecting in the United States. It investigates the changing interest in Flemish art over time—and what happens when private love of art becomes institutional collecting. It also deals with many different American museum collections as part of a greater national collection. This is rarely done, and it is great food for thought.”

Esmée Quodbach is Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Center for the History of Collecting at The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library in New York. She is the editor of Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, also published by Penn State University Press.

List of Illustrations

Preface

Esmée Quodbach

Introduction: Pleasure and Prestige: The Complex History of Collecting Flemish Art in America Arthur K. Wheelock, Jr.

Part 1. The Early Years: The Formation of America’s Taste for Flemish Painting

1. Before Modern Connoisseurship: Robert Gilmor, Jr.’s, Quest for Flemish Paintings in the Early Republic

Lance Humphries

2. Collecting the Art of Flanders in Antebellum New York

Margaret R. Laster

3. The American Van Dyck

Adam Eaker

4. A Family Affair: Bruegel and Sons in America

Louisa Wood Ruby

Part 2. The Gilded Age and Beyond

5. In Search of Major Masters: Boston’s History of Collecting Flemish Baroque Painting

Ronni Baer

6. “Never a Dull Picture”: John Graver Johnson Collects Flemish Art

Esmée Quodbach

7. Creating an Acquired Taste for Flemish Paintings: The Advice of W. R. Valentiner and Others

Dennis P. Weller

8. Collecting Seventeenth-Century Flemish Paintings in the Midwest

George S. Keyes

Part 3. The Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: The Dissemination of Flemish Art Across America

9. From Personal Treasures to Public Gifts: The Flemish Painting Collection at the National Gallery of Art

Alexandra Libby

10. Collecting Rubens in America

Marjorie E. Wieseman

11. “It Is a Great Painting for a Museum”: Collecting Flemish Paintings in Southern California

Anne T. Woollett

Notes

References

List of Contributors

List of Artists’ Names

Index

Download a PDF sample chapter here: Preface