Episode No. 193 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features National Gallery of Art curator Arthur Wheelock.
Wheelock is the co-curator of “Pleasure and Piety: The Art of Joachim Wtewael (1566-1638),” at the National Gallery of Art, Washington. It is the first retrospective of the Utrecht master’s work. It will be on view through October 4 before traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on November 1. Wheelock’s co-curators were Liesbeth M. Helmus of the Centraal Museum Utrecht and the MFAH’s James Clifton.
Wtewael’s career straddled the 16th century and the dawn of the Dutch Golden Age. His mannerist style predated the Dutch discovery of Caravaggism, and Wtewael seems never to have been much interested in the new thing. Furthermore, his focus on erotic scenes drawn from Ovid seems spectacularly un-Dutch, and suggests we might need to revise our understanding of what Dutch art was.
Wheelock is the NGA’s curator of the Northern Baroque, and a giant in the American curatorial field. He has organized or co-organized nearly 40 exhibitions in his 42 years at the National Gallery, including surveys of Vermeer, Rembrandt, Cuyp, Avercamp, Leyster, Steen, Dou, van Dyck, ter Borch and more.
Wheelock and host Tyler Green discuss Wtewael in the context of central European mannerist Bartholomeus Spranger, whose work was the subject of this 2014-15 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition.
Air date: July 16, 2015.