The Kingdom of the Netherlands, represented by Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, presented Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie a royal decoration for their generous support of Dutch culture and Old Masters in the United States. The ceremony took place at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston.
In 2017, the couples Van Otterloo and Weatherbie donated the largest gift of European paintings in MFA history, a combined 113 works of Dutch and Flemish art by 76 artists, to the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. The donation consists of 113 works of exceptional quality by 76 artists —including one of the finest Rembrandt portraits in private hands. The paintings will elevate the Museum’s holdings into one of the country’s foremost collections of Dutch art from the Golden Age and significantly strengthen its representation of Flemish paintings from the time. Find out more about this donation here. The Boston-area collectors not only donated their extraordinary art collection, but also a major research library and funding to establish a Center for Netherlandish Art at the MFA, the first of its kind in the U.S.
Launching in 2020, the Center for Netherlandish Art (CNA) will be a leading center for scholarship on Netherlandish (Dutch and Flemish) art of the early modern period. Its programs—including public lectures, exhibitions, courses, publications, and residency fellowships—will attract collectors, curators, researchers, conservators, and students, encouraging them to learn and collaborate together. This work will advance the mission of the CNA: to share Netherlandish art with wide audiences in Boston and elsewhere, to stimulate multi-disciplinary research and object-based learning, to nurture future generations of scholars and curators in the field, and to expand public appreciation for Netherlandish art.
The decoration was preceded by an inaugural lecture organized by the MFA’s Center for Netherlandish Art about the Dutch old master Gerrit Dou. Renowned art historian Eric Jan Sluijter , professor emeritus at the University of Amsterdam and the 2019 Erasmus Lecturer at Harvard University focused his lecture on Dou’s ingenious scenes of daily life and his practice of the “art of deception.” In his masterpiece, The Quack, owned by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the artist emphatically presents himself as a deceiver. The MFA recently received two spectacular paintings by the artist from the collection of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo.