Two Republics: 17th Century Dutch & 19th Century American Art for the Common Man
September 30, 2014 - January 11, 2015
There are many parallels between the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century and the self-confident culture of America in the 19th century. Both societies emphasized freedom, the common man, patriotism, love of their land, and pride in their national identity. Moreover, the large middle class supported a brisk market for art. Consequently, there are commonalities in the themes found in the art of these two republics: elaborate still lifes featuring exotic plants and objects, landscapes that illustrate how Dutch and American citizens had special and tangible relationships with their land, pendant portraits of husbands and wives and full-length portraits of their offspring, musical and mealtime scenes, and allegories that depict abstract concepts by inventing characters drawn from daily life.
The exhibition will place side by side American works from the Museum’s collection with Dutch works on loan from various collections, including The Columbia Museum of Art (South Carolina), the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens (Florida), Lawrence Steigrad Fine Art (New York), Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Mint Museum of Art (North Carolina), Betty Krulik Fine Art, Ltd. (New York), and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Two Republics will be the first display of Old Master paintings at the Columbus Museum since the 1970 exhibition Old Masters from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the first ever to focus on Dutch painting. The exhibition will be accompanied by a 16-page, full-color publication and a wide array of educational programming that will provide the Museum a unique opportunity to educate our community about Dutch art, history, and culture.
Two Republics is made possible through the generous funding of AFLAC and Synovus.