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The Picker Art Gallery continues its in-depth look at the past, present, and future of the museum’s collections in Original Materials II: The Picker Art Gallery and the Building of a Collection. Drawing from the museum’s holdings, the exhibition combines works on view during the fall 2019 semester with many new selections—along with material from Colgate’s University Archives. The exhibition highlights some of the principal sub-collections that have shaped the museum, considers the people who helped to build the collection, and examines the ways in which the Picker has contributed to a Colgate education.
Works in Progress: Original Materials from the Netherlands
What constitutes an “authentic” work by a master? What can we learn from frames and the backs of paintings? Who is the mysterious woman in red? These questions and others are pursued in this exhibition, which presents the results of ongoing research on Dutch and Flemish artworks in the Picker Art Gallery’s collection. This small but significant group features paintings by artists such as Pieter Brueghel II, Isaac van Ostade, and David Ryckaert III, many of which are being publicly displayed for the first time since the early twentieth century. By looking closely at the objects themselves, as well as their recorded traces in archives and literature, the exhibition investigates the works’ original significance as well as their centuries-long journey before coming to the Picker. Research remains a work in progress and the exhibition—which will be updated regularly to share new insights with visitors—considers both the potential and the limitations of art historical, archival, and object-based methods to shed light on all that remains unknown about museum collections.
Research on the Picker Art Gallery’s collection of Dutch and Flemish art is being conducted by Kress Interpretive Fellow Dr. Suzanne van de Meerendonk.
David Ryckaert III (Flemish, 1612–1661), Interior of an Inn with Four Figures, ca. 1640, oil on panel. A Gift from Max Oberlander, 2015.5.3. Photo: Richard Walker.
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