Rembrandt and the Jews at the Figge Art Museum

8 October 2016 — 15 January 2017

The Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, will present ‘Rembrandt and the Jews: The Berger Print Collection’ from October 8 until January 15. The exhibition features a collection of 22 etchings by the Dutch master that explore the relationship between the artist and the Jewish residents of Amsterdam. Rembrandt lived in Amsterdam’s prosperous Jewish neighborhood, where he found patrons and models for his work. In his interpretation of Protestant Old Testament narratives, Rembrandt consulted Jewish theologians for a varied perspective of these familiar subjects. He also painted and etched portraits of prominent Jews in the city. As a companion to the exhibition, additional prints by Rembrandt, Anthony van Dyck, Albrecht Dürer and other artists drawn from the collections of the Figge, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, Augustana Teaching Museum of Art and artifacts from the Pella Historical Society and Museums, will be on view. The exhibition will explore Rembrandt’s printmaking process and the technical and formal innovations that Rembrandt brought to the traditional medium of etching.

Courtesy of the Artist

Courtesy of the Artist

(Rembrandt van Rijn, The Triumph of Mordecai, c. 1641, Etching and drypoint on laid paper, The Berger Print Collection, Gift of Howard and Fran Berger ,Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art)

Courtesy of the Artist

(Rembrandt van Rijn, Jews in the Synagogue (Pharisees in the Temple), 1648, Etching and drypoint on laid paper, The Berger Print Collection, Gift of Howard and Fran Berger, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art)

Courtesy of the Artist

(Rembrandt van Rijn Abraham Casting Out Hagar and Ishmael, 1637 Etching and drypoint on laid paper, The Berger Print Collection, Gift of Howard and Fran Berger, Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art)

The Figge Art Museum will organize a number of supplementary events: 

October 13: Opening Reception (5:30 PM) and Gallery Talk (7 PM) with an introduction and informal gallery tour by Figge Executive Director Director Tim Schiffer and Curatorial Assistant Vanessa Brown. Louis W.M. Piët, Consul General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Chicago, will also say a few words.

Nobember 3: Curator Talk (7 PM) with Lisa deBoer on ‘Rembrandt’s Jews in Context’.

November 10: Gallery Talk (7 PM) with Katie Kiley. She will share her research on Rembrandt and experience with printmaking techniques as she leads audience members on a gallery tour of the exhibition.  

November 17: Print Demonstration (6 PM) with Katie Kiley.

Exhibition Tours on October 15 and 16, and on November 12 and 13. Tours will start 1:30 PM. 

December 10 will be a Free Family Day with free admission and special activities related to ‘Rembrandt and the Jews’ and other exhibitions. 

About the Figge Art Museum 

The Figge Art Museum is the premier art exhibition and education facility between Chicago and Des Moines. Its landmark glass building on the banks of the Mississippi, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections, and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Its studios, auditorium and spacious lobby are alive with art classes, lectures and special events that attract visitors of all ages. The Figge was formed as the Davenport Municipal Art Gallery in 1925, with the passage of a law allowing the city to accept of a gift of 330 artworks from a former mayor, Charles A. Ficke, and open a museum. It was renamed the Davenport Museum of Art in 1987. It continued to be a city-run museum until the opening of its new building in 2005, which was named in honor of a major gift from the V.O. and Elizabeth Kahl Figge Foundation. At that time, the city transferred responsibility for management, care and exhibition of its collection to the Figge Art Museum, a nonprofit organization. Mr. Ficke’s original collection of European, American and Spanish Viceregal art has grown through the efforts of generations of philanthropists and civic leaders and now includes the Grant Wood Archive and works by other American Regionalist artists, an extensive collection of Haitian art, and contemporary works.