A major East Coast museum just announced its plans to mount a celebratory exhibition that commemorates its acquisition of a major European Old Master collection, 100 years ago.
Before John G. Johnson (1814-1917) died, he made sure his robust collection of European Old Master artworks was taken care of by giving it to the city of Philadelphia. That collection is held today by the renowned Philadelphia Museum of Art, which recently announced a November 3, 2017 opening for “Old Masters Now: Celebrating the Johnson Collection.” The exhibition brings together many highlights from the collection, which was received upon the donor’s death in 1917.
According to the museum, “The exhibition presents a fresh look at one of the finest collections of European art to have been formed by a private collector in this country. On view will be major works by artists such as Botticelli, Bosch, Titian, Rembrandt, and Manet, among many others. It will also open a window on the work of museum curators and conservators, illuminating how our understanding of these works continues to evolve.”
Timothy Rub, the museum’s George D. Widener director and CEO, added, “Over time our appreciation of Johnson’s extraordinary gift continues to grow, and yet it remains a source of endless fascination with many discoveries still to be made. We are delighted to open a window onto our work, offering visitors a fresh look at the process of scholarship and conservation that we bring to the care of our collection and an insight into the questions, puzzles, and mysteries that continue to occupy our staff.”
Continuing, the museum writes, “The exhibition also explores those areas of European painting in which Johnson focused in depth, including Italian, Dutch and Netherlandish, and French art. The number of Dutch paintings he acquired was among the largest of his day, and is especially rich in landscapes by Jacob van Ruisdael and animated genre scenes by Jan Steen. Rembrandt’s ‘Head of Christ’ will also be on view in this section.”
“Old Masters Now” opens on November 3 and will continue through February 19, 2018. To learn more, visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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