Robert Vickrey, Forbidden Fruit, 1995, Egg tempera on gesso on masonite, 36" x 48"

The Figure in American Art: Florida Southern College's New Art Museum Collection

Organized by the Harmon-Meek Gallery, Naples, Florida

June 10 - September 24, 2017

Dorothy Jenkins Gallery

The first of many forthcoming exhibitions showcasing the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College’s latest acquisitions, The Figure in American Art offers but a mere introduction to the Museum’s newest permanent collection works. This inaugural exhibition of the alliance between the Polk Museum and Florida Southern highlights one of the principal collecting initiatives fostered by the partnership: to develop a collecting focus that specifically addresses the “figure” as a subject unto its own in American painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.

The human form - rendered realistically, abstractly, or even metaphorically - has been the central element that has connected art across time, and, as The Figure in American Art strives to illustrate, the theme presents an endless font for artistic and viewer consideration. Accordingly, this new collecting focus strives to elevate the Museum, making it and Lakeland, a go-to source for American art. This summer, visitors to The Figure in American Art will get a glimpse at a growing collection whose uniqueness celebrates not only the new alliance between the Polk Museum and Florida Southern College, but also the unique strengths of the community at large.

Jacob Backer, Two Girls with a Bird's Nest, n.d., Panel, 73.5 cm x 60.5cm

Rembrandt's Academy: Old Master Paintings from Private Dutch Collections

Exhibition organized by the Hoogsteder Museum Foundation, The Netherlands

June 10 - September 24, 2017

Gallery II

Rembrandt van Rijn founded the most influential Academy that ever existed in the Dutch Republic (1581-1795), training dozens of painters to work in the “Rembrandtesque” manner. His characteristic style became famous throughout the whole of Europe. Rembrandt’s artistic personality was breath-taking, and it is not possible to imagine Dutch art without him.

After his move to Amsterdam, Rembrandt quickly became a leading painter of the day and attracted students from all over, everyone bewildered by his brilliance. Rembrandt formed his Academy wishing to use the help of his students to produce the large output of paintings and etchings required to make his name in the world.

Many of his students seem to have been so advanced that they were working as paid “mate” in the studio and actively collaborated on Rembrandt’s commissions, painting backgrounds, drapery and costumes. Rembrandt was also entitled to sell the paintings they produced in the Academy in the master’s signature style. Inexperienced pupils however, had to pay the annual tuition fee and spend their time drawing, grinding pigments and preparing panels and canvas.

This exhibition features the artworks of some of Rembrandt's students.


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