September 27, 1999
Volume 52, No. 6
Belgian prince visits for opening of Carlos Museum exhibition
Running through Jan. 9, the exhibition features more than 90 objects representative of the art and culture of the 1600s in the southern Netherlands, including 20 paintings by Reubens and van Dyck, as well as drawings, sculpture, prints, illustrated books, furniture, silver, brass, glass and textiles.
The prince, along with his traveling entourage of some 20 broadcast and print journalists, arrived at the museum and was greeted by President Bill Chace, then received a tour of the exhibition by its curator, Ronni Baer, Carlos' European art curator who specializes in Dutch and Flemish art.
"The period was one of extraordinary artistic achievement, with artists of the highest caliber working for the court, the church and the upper class," Baer said. "While it is among the painters of the period, including Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, that one finds the artists' names most familiar to us, artists in other media were working at no less distinguished a level."
The phrase "so many brilliant talents" was used by Abbé Scaglia, amabassador of Savoy, to describe Rubens in the 17th century, but the range and quality of art produced in various media by the many artists represented are equally deserving of the label.
"Their works tell us a great deal about the interests, institutions and preoccupations of the time, including the guilds and their influence, the rituals and routines of daily life, and leisure pursuits," Baer said. "The exhibition will put the artistic production of 17th century Flemish culture in an historical context, elucidating the intellectual, social and cultural life of the time."
"So Many Brilliant Talents" was organized by the Carlos Museum and the King Baudouin Foundation United States, an Atlanta organization dedicated to strengthening ties between America and Belgium. The works of the show are draw primarily from collections in Brussels, including those of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, the Royal Museums of Art and History, the Royal Library and the collection of the King Baudouin Foundation.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the museum will present a variety of programs allowing visitors to explore the culture of the 17th century Southern Netherlands in greater depth. A symposium on Oct. 8 and 9 will present distinguished scholars speaking on Flemish art. Baer will hold a workshop for teachers on Oct. 27; also that day is a tasting held by Neiman Marcus and Neuhaus, makers of the finest Belgian chocolate.
For a schedule of events related to "So Many Brilliant Talents," visit the Carlos web site at <www.emory.edu/ CARLOS>.
--Joy Bell and Michael Terrazas