New Volume On Flemish Art In America Published

Book Cover, Portrait of a woman

New York (November 12, 2020) ­­­The Frick Art Reference Library announces the publication of America and the Art of Flanders: Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles. The first in-depth study on this topic in nearly twenty years, this richly illustrated volume features twelve essays by noted scholars and museum curators who examine this country’s extraordinary holdings in seventeenth-century Flemish paintings. Together, the authors reveal the origins of these great U.S. collections by exploring the American taste for Flemish art over the course of the last two centuries. A result of scholarship produced for the May 2016 symposium hosted by the Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting, this publication will stimulate further research in the fields of art and museum history.

The fifth in a series of publications on collecting in America, this new book explores the roles that individuals had in forming private and public collections, and how and why individuals and museums in the United States embraced Flemish masters with such enthusiasm. The authors trace how the taste for specific genres and the appreciation for certain artists, in particular Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, changed over the years, further exploring the historical and cultural motivations behind these trends. In doing so, the authors consider the effect of the great bequests of Flemish paintings to U.S. museums and examine the private collections of American tastemakers, including the Baltimore merchant Robert Gilmor; John Graver Johnson, the leading corporate lawyer of the Gilded Age; and the California oil magnate J. Paul Getty.

The launch of the book will be celebrated in a private virtual event later this month, co-hosted by the Delegation of Flanders to the USA. A video of the program, featuring a presentation and panel discussion, will be available on in late November.

Edited by Esmée Quodbach, Assistant Director and Editor-in-Chief of the Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting, the volume is co-published by The Frick Collection and Penn State University Press. Additional contributors include Ronni Baer, Allen R. Adler Curator and Lecturer, Princeton University Art Museum; Adam Eaker, Assistant Curator in the Department of European Paintings, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Lance Humphries, Executive Director of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Place Conservancy; George S. Keyes, Curator Emeritus of European Paintings, Detroit Institute of Arts; Margaret R. Laster, independent scholar and former Associate Curator of American Art, New-York Historical Society; Alexandra Libby, Assistant Curator of Northern Baroque Painting, National Gallery of Art; Louisa Wood Ruby, Head of Research, Frick Art Reference Library; Dennis P. Weller, former Curator of Northern European Art, North Carolina Museum of Art; Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., former Curator of Northern Baroque Painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and Professor of Seventeenth-Century Dutch and Flemish Art, University of Maryland at College Park; Marjorie E. Wieseman, Curator and Head of the Department of Northern European Paintings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Anne T. Woollett, Curator in the Department of Paintings, J. Paul Getty Museum.

America and the Art of Flanders: Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles (248 pages; hardcover $69.95, member price $62.96) is available online through the Frick’s Museum Shop at, or by emailing


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