Nearly forty years after his death, Abner Schram, the U.S. distributor of the books Schwartz published from 1971 to 1988, continues to impose his overbearing, endearing self on Schwartz. To bring him back and perhaps to lay his ghost, he tells about the man and publishes their complete correspondence. Continue reading “412 Remembering Abner Schram”
Memoirs and tributes
411 Vermeeren of verminderen: in memory of Albert Blankert
Translation: Increase or decrease [the number of paintings by Vermeer, whose name is baked into the Dutch word for increasing.] My oldest and dearest friend in the Netherlands, Albert Blankert, died last Tuesday. I am channeling and seconding his inspired take on a current Vermeer dispute.
Continue reading “411 Vermeeren of verminderen: in memory of Albert Blankert”
383 A victim of police murder I knew
The murder of George Floyd kindles Schwartz’s nightmarish memory of the killing of a person he knew who died at the hands of the police. In all their differences, both are dramatic instances of lethal abuse by a US policeman against an unarmed victim. With shocking images.
382 Counting back from the end
The New York art gallery of Nicholas Hall asked me to contribute to a series of online writings called Food for Thought. My own thoughts went back to the 1990s, when I brought myself to pick up a research project I had abandoned in the 1960s. Impacted by current events, the memories are fraught with thoughts of mortality.
377 Three discoveries by Jan de Hond of which I am envious*
My research paths have crossed those of Jan de Hond in various ways for twenty years now. Again and again, he has beaten me to the punch in putting his finger on vital items. A tribute to a gifted colleague. Continue reading “377 Three discoveries by Jan de Hond of which I am envious*”
Emotions in art from Giambattista della Porta to David Freedberg
Taking thankful advantage of an opportunity to honor an old and beloved friend, the brilliant David Freedberg, I wrote an essay on one of the subjects David has claimed as his own, emotion in art. It is based on my work for the exhibition Emotions: pain and pleasure in Dutch painting of the Golden Age, Haarlem, Frans Hals Museum, and the aftermaths of that show.
373 Putting ourselves and Rembrandt to the test
For Peter Hecht, who following his retirement from a celebrated professorship in art history at Utrecht University, entered the fray of interpreters of Rembrandt’s notoriously treacherous Leiden History Painting. Schwartz reviews the state of the question, especially with regard to the emotions of three of the figures, and reintroduces into the discussion a neglected piece of pertinent evidence.
Continue reading “373 Putting ourselves and Rembrandt to the test”
64 The bizarre birth of a genre
A memorial installment. The following column, mailed to subscribers in October 1998, appeared in Loekie Schwartz’s Dutch translation in Het Financieele Dagblad in the issue dated 31 October & 2 November 1998. I am putting it online now in tribute to two exceptional colleagues who both died this week. Hessel Miedema was a fellow art historian and Joop van Coevorden a fellow publisher, for both of whom I have measureless respect. Together, they raised to a new level the study of the greatest single book on early Dutch art, Karel van Mander’s Lives. When I wrote “Indeed, one can no longer read van Mander at all without Miedema, whose exhaustive commentary is one of the great achievements of present-day art history,” I should have said in so many words that the appearance of that commentary was due to the entrepreneurship, the good taste and dedication above and beyond the call of normal duty of Joop van Coevorden, in his DAVACO press. Their publication was financed in part by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and Stichting Charema.
370 Dutch research naches
Schwartz muses on the Dutch research libraries he loves to visit, reminiscing about the past and worrying about the future.
365 Life as we know it
For seventy years, Schwartz has been aware that he, with the rest of humanity, is in grave danger of being wiped out. He takes account of the record and reveals his solution to the most immediate threat.