The Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced an unprecedented exhibition of all seven of the Museum’s drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), a singular genius in the history of world art. “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” opens on Friday, Oct. 4, marking the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1669. The brief exhibition runs through Sunday, Oct. 20.
The Ackland is the only public university art museum in the United States to own a collection of Rembrandt’s drawings. In hosting the exhibition of these seven drawings from the Museum’s Peck Collection, the Ackland celebrates the legacy of Rembrandt alongside institutions such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.
“This special presentation of Rembrandt drawings from the Peck Collection not only explores the artist’s amazing technical skill and his profound insight into the human condition but also presents an occasion to highlight the ongoing importance of the Pecks’ gift to the Museum,” said Dana Cowen, the Ackland’s inaugural Sheldon Peck curator for European and American art before 1950. “Such a display places the Ackland among other museums worldwide that are celebrating Rembrandt’s considerable artistic legacy this year and represents a rare opportunity for art lovers in North Carolina to see Rembrandt’s talent as a draftsman.”
The drawings in the Ackland’s collection, which were created over a twenty-year period from about 1635 to 1656, depict biblical and genre scenes, figure studies and the Dutch landscape. They range widely in style and technique, and reveal how Rembrandt used the medium to refine his skills, record interesting motifs, and experiment with composition. Highlights from the group of drawings include Rembrandt’s “Noli me tangere,” a scene in which Christ reveals himself to Mary Magdalene after his Resurrection, and the artist’s “Studies of a woman and two children,” one of around twenty-five drawings known today that feature an inscription by the artist.
The seven works in “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” form the core of the Peck Collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish drawings gifted to the Museum in 2017 by UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus Sheldon Peck and his late wife Leena. Assembled by the Pecks over four decades, the collection and its accompanying funding represented the largest gift ever donated to the Museum, establishing the Ackland as a significant resource for Dutch Golden Age drawings in the United States.
Looking Over Rembrandt’s Shoulder: A Discussion of the Peck Collection Drawings
Featuring Dana Cowen, Robert Fucci, and Sheldon Peck
Oct 11, 2019 | 5:00 p.m., during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk
Dana Cowen, Sheldon Peck Curator for European and American Art before 1950; Robert Fucci, Peck Collection Research Fellow; and collector Sheldon Peck will participate in an energetic conversation about Rembrandt’s renowned skill as a draftsman and his impact on the art world.
RSVP at ackland.org. Free and open to the public.