Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt's Etchings

February 6–May 13, 2018

Stern Gallery West

Treasured for their innovation and ability to capture the human psyche, Rembrandt’s etchings in college and university art collections in the United States have long inspired research, technical investigation, and multidisciplinary teaching approaches. This exhibition highlights the scope and subtlety of Rembrandt as an etcher who employed a wide range of subject matter, processes, and materials. Etchings of the 17th century Dutch master are presented through the lenses of connoisseurship, scholarly and public reception, and the history of collection-building, as well as increasingly technical and scientific approaches, such as the study of watermarks.


Organized in conjunction with Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Lines of Inquiry will include stellar Rembrandt impressions from a variety of institutions and private collections. The exhibition is curated jointly by Andrew C. Weislogel, the Seymour R. Askin, Jr. ’47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, and Andaleeb Badiee Banta, Curator of American and European Art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College.

The accompanying catalogue incorporates new research and initiatives that examine the status of the printmaker, including an overview of Rembrandt print collecting by American academic collections, an account of Oberlin’s secret guardianship of the Morgan’s Rembrandt prints during World War II, and an introduction to Cornell’s Watermark Identification in Rembrandt’s Etchings (WIRE) project, a collaboration among museums, faculty, and students dedicated to digitally facilitating access to Rembrandt watermark scholarship.

At Oberlin, support for the exhibition has been provided by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the Robert Lehman Foundation, Inc., as well as by Maryan and Chuck Ainsworth, Elaine A. Bridges, Andrew Butterfield and Claire Schiffman, Pamela and James Elesh, Sarah G. (Sally) Epstein and Donald Collins, Suzanne Hellmuth and Jock Reynolds, Brian and Mary Kennedy, Emily and T. K. McClintock, Donald Oresman, Betsy Pinover Schiff, Deborah and Andy Scott, Katherine Solender and Willie Katzin, Sietske and Herman Turndorf, Gloria Werner, the John H. and Marjorie Fox Wieland AMAM Support Fund, and the Friends of Art Fund.

Image: Rembrandt's St. Francis Beneath a Tree Praying (1657). R.T. Miller Jr. Fund, 1952.31