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Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Wheelock To Lecture On Vermeer

05:44PM / Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Williamstown - Arthur Wheelock, curator of Northern Baroque Painting at the National Gallery of Art and professor of art history at the University of Maryland, will deliver a lecture at Williams College on Thursday, April 19. The lecture, titled "How did Vermeer Make a Vermeer? The Search for Clues in the Conservation," will begin at 5 p.m. in Lawrence Hall, Room 231. Admission is free and the public is invited to attend.

Wheelock is the author of "Vermeer and the Art of Painting," "Jan Vermeer," and "Perspectives, Optics, and Delft Artists around 1650." He organized the exhibitions "Aelbert Cuyp" and "The Public and Private in the age of Vermeer" at the Osaka Municipal Museum, Japan.

His major exhibitions at the National Gallery include "Gerrit Dou: Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt," "A Collector's Cabinet," and "Johannes Vermeer."

He has received a number of honors throughout his career. In 1982, The Dutch Government named Wheelock Knight Officer in the Order of the Orange-Nassau. In 1996, he received the Johanees Vermeer Prize of Outstanding Achievement in Dutch Art and the Bicentennial Medal from Williams College.

Wheelock is especially noted for his authority on Vermeer and Rembrandt.

"We think of Vermeer as being very realistic and very precise," Wheelock said at a Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery, "but if you look closely, occasionally you can see how incredibly bold and abstract he is."

In an effort to better understand the artist's original pictorial intent, Wheelock's research has included virtually reconstructing Vermeer paintings such as "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher."

Using an infrared reflectogram, Wheelock is able to create a reasonable hypothesis of the painting in the state prior to the artists' later alterations. Comparing the virtual reconstruction to the final version gives researchers additional information regarding the expressive content of Vermeer's mysterious works.

He is an alumnus of Williams College and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1973.







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