The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Friday, April 08, 2005
Trip Thoughts - Part Four: The Art
One of the goals of my trip (besides getting a look at Covenant College) was to visit art museums that I would otherwise not get an opportunity to visit. I choose four museums which had (I hoped) strong collections of Dutch 17th century art which I am particularly interested in right now.

The best collection I visited by far was the at the St Lous Art Museum. They had at least 20 paintings on view. One entire wall of a gallery was lined up with landscapes which had amazing variety - an excellent cross-sample of what the Golden Age has to offer in this area. Their Wouwerman is exceptional. The other painting I particularly liked was the Nicolaes Maes The Account Keeper (an elderly bookkeeper who has dozed off). I enjoyed both Maes' technical excellence along with his wry sense of humor. They also has on display several examples of Dutch glassware including a Roemer - a rounded glass which appears in many still life paintings of the period.

The second best collection I saw was at the Memphis Brooks Art Museum. A small collection which also has some fine pieces including large "tonalist" still life by Koets, a delicate historical "portrait" by Jan Lievens and a nice, fairly large Van Goyen landscape.

The biggest dissapointment was the closure of most of the old master galleries at the Nelson Atkins Museum in Kansas City. I suspect that their collection would have rivalled St Louis'. I can only hope that can get another opportunity to visit when their collection is re-installed. The Joslyn had only a handful of Dutch pieces. The large still life by Jacob Van Es a Flemish painter was really exceptional.

(links to museum in an earlier entry below)