Arts and Humanities

The Ackland Art Museum displays “All the Rembrandt Drawings!”

The Ackland is the only public university art museum in the United States to own a collection of Rembrandt's drawings.

A Rembrandt drawing of people sitting at a table.

The Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced an unprecedented exhibition of all seven of the Museum’s drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669), a singular genius in the history of world art. “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” opens on Oct. 4, marking the 350th anniversary of the artist’s death in 1669. The brief exhibition runs through Oct. 20.

The Ackland is the only public university art museum in the United States to own a collection of Rembrandt’s drawings. In hosting the exhibition of these seven drawings from the Museum’s Peck Collection, the Ackland celebrates the legacy of Rembrandt alongside institutions such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

“This special presentation of Rembrandt drawings from the Peck Collection not only explores the artist’s amazing technical skill and his profound insight into the human condition but also presents an occasion to highlight the ongoing importance of the Pecks’ gift to the Museum,” said Dana Cowen, the Ackland’s inaugural Sheldon Peck curator for European and American art before 1950. “Such a display places the Ackland among other museums worldwide that are celebrating Rembrandt’s considerable artistic legacy this year and represents a rare opportunity for art lovers in North Carolina to see Rembrandt’s talent as a draftsman.”

The drawings in the Ackland’s collection, which were created over 20 years from about 1635 to 1656, depict biblical and genre scenes, figure studies and the Dutch landscape. They range widely in style and technique, and reveal how Rembrandt used the medium to refine his skills, record interesting motifs and experiment with composition. Highlights from the group of drawings include Rembrandt’s “Noli me tangere,” a scene in which Christ reveals himself to Mary Magdalene after his Resurrection, and the artist’s “Studies of a woman and two children,” one of around twenty-five drawings known today that feature an inscription by the artist.

The seven works in “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” form the core of the Peck Collection of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish drawings gifted to the Museum in 2017 by UNC-Chapel Hill alumnus Sheldon Peck and his late wife, Leena. Assembled by the Pecks over four decades, the collection and its accompanying funding represented the largest gift ever donated to the museum, establishing the Ackland as a significant resource for Dutch Golden Age drawings in the United States.

The Ackland presents the following programs in connection with “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” All programs are open to the public and are free of charge.

Featured event

Looking Over Rembrandt’s Shoulder: A Discussion of the Peck Collection Drawings
Featuring Dana Cowen, Robert Fucci, and Sheldon Peck
Oct. 11 at 5 p.m., during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk

Dana Cowen, Sheldon Peck Curator for European and American Art before 1950; Robert Fucci, Peck Collection Research Fellow; and collector Sheldon Peck will participate in an energetic conversation about Rembrandt’s renowned skill as a draftsman and his impact on the art world.

RSVP at ackland.org. Free and open to the public.

Tours

Guided Weekday Tours
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays at 1:30 p.m. (and 2 p.m., if the earlier tour fills) during “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” First come, first served; space is limited to 15 visitors per tour.

Special Weekend Tours
Sundays at 2:30 p.m. during “All the Rembrandt Drawings!” First come, first served; space is limited to 15 visitors per tour.

Community groups may request a free, private, guided tour of “All the Rembrandt Drawings” (or any Ackland exhibition) by visiting https://ackland.org/education/request-a-tour/