Amsterdam in the 17th century was a vibrant city with global connections. The largest and most powerful trade and shipping company in the world, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) filled Dutch homes with Asian porcelain, lacquer, sumptuous textiles, diamonds and spices. Inspired by these novel imports, Dutch potters, textile designers and jewelers created works of art we now perceive as distinctly Dutch. Artists such as Rembrandt, Willem Kalf, Jan Steen and Pieter Claesz were also quick to incorporate these luxuries into their paintings. Co-organized by the Peabody Essex Museum and the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, this exhibition of 170 superlative Asian and Dutch works of art explores the transformative impact that Asian luxuries had on Dutch art and life in the 17th century, bringing new perspectives on the Dutch Golden Age and its relationship to Asia.
The Richard C. von Hess Foundation, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, and the Lee and Juliet Folger Fund supported Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age. Eaton Vance Management sponsored the exhibition. The exhibition has also been made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and the Netherland-America Foundation. Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation provided generous support. Judith S. Howe, Nancy and Thomas Lurie, Chip and Susan Robie, Dr. Edward G. Tiedemann Jr., Mr. Jurrien Timmer, Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, Mr. and Mrs. Ernst H. von Metzsch, Mr. and Mrs. Christopher M. Weld, and the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum provided additional support.
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