Today my research at the New York Public Library - Stephen A. Schwarzman Building was seeking to confirm my hypothesis that some modern interior design trends of dark walls, still life photography/painting and art collections were associated with the Dutch Renaissance.
As I sat at in the Art/Architecture department digging through my pile of Dutch/Flemish books I learned that the growth of connoisseurship/collecting became so popular in the Dutch Renaissance/Dutch Golden Age that not only were collectors invited to become members of influential artist guilds (such as Antwerp Guild of St. Luke) but a new genre of paintings focusing on “art collection” was developed led by artists Frans Franken II, Willem van Haecht, David Teniers and Hans Jordaens.
If you had all of the money in the world what would you collect?
I posed the above question today to some of my friends and I received the most interesting responses including: door knobs, handbags & vintage motorcycles, vintage machines, unique single chair legs, sand from beaches traveled to, vintage cameras and so on. These collections which we treasure reveal much about who we are, who we desire to be and what we see as beauty. Our world is filled with vast amounts of media and it can be incredibly challenging and overwhelming to sift through it all in order to find true beauty. While collections may sometimes be viewed as materialistic throughout history they have been closely associated with the development of the arts and sciences. Perhaps analyzing our collections will give us a glimpse into something deeper?
“All the curious gleaners and collectors anointed themselves it’s guardians…” – Cabinets of Wonder
Image Three: House Beautiful July/August 2012
Image Four: Anthropologie New York Store Interior by Esther Maria Swaty