Class of 1974 Curatorial Fellow Robert Schindler presents “Making Visible / Rachel Ruysch.“
Rachel Ruysch (1664–1750) is considered one of the foremost still-life painters of her time, yet research on her life and work lags behind that of many of her male contemporaries. If this is not surprising even for an exceptional female artist like Ruysch, it stands in stark contrast to the fame and fortune she achieved during her long career, which in turn may be the reason she was not excluded altogether—like so many other women artists—from art histories written by men. Ruysch’s life and work provide fascinating avenues for inquiry not only into questions surrounding the conditions, experiences, and legacies of female artists working in the Netherlands in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries but also the (gendered) intersections of art, nature, natural philosophy, and science in the later 1600s. Questions like these will be at the heart of the forthcoming first, major exhibition on Rachel Ruysch. This lecture aims to introduce Ruysch’s career, work, and legacy while tracing the concept of this show.
Robert Schindler is the Fariss Gambrill Lynn and Henry Sharpe Lynn Curator of European Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama. He holds a PhD in art history from the Freie Universität in Berlin. His interests and expertise are broad; he has written on subjects ranging from late medieval manuscript illumination to Bartholomeus Bruyn and the history of collecting. At the Clark, he will work on an exhibition project dedicated to Rachel Ruysch and her sister Anna (2023/2024).
This prerecorded lecture is publicly available starting on March 19 and will be available through June 15.
Image: Juriaen Pool (Dutch, 1665–1745), The artists Juriaen Pool and Rachel Ruysch with their son Jan Willem Pool, 1716. Oil on canvas, 28 x 24 5/8 in. (71 x 62.5 cm). Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf, Benrath 288. © Stefan Arendt Medienzentrum Rheinland