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Changing Forms: Metamorphosis in Myth, Art, and Nature, 1650–1700 explores the rich and varied concept of metamorphosis—with links to art, myth, science, and the exchange of knowledge—in the late seventeenth-century Netherlands. The paintings, drawings, prints, and illustrated books include renderings of Ovid’s Metamorphoses by Godefridus Schalcken, Willem van Mieris, and Samuel van Hoogstraten, as well as Virgil Solis, Abraham Bloemaert, and Hendrick Goudt. Related to the theme of transformation were also Dutch publications that explore biological metamorphosis, seen in the lavishly illustrated insect studies by Johannes Goedaert, Jan Swammerdam, and Maria Sibylla Merian. These early scientific treatises reflect a profound shift in the understanding of the natural world and its relationship to myth and imagination. Lenders to the exhibition were Vassar College, Cornell University, Bard College, Lehigh University, and The Leiden Collection.

Changing Forms was curated by Lara Yeager-Crasselt, The Leiden Collection, and Elizabeth Nogrady, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College.

This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue: Elizabeth Nogrady and Lara Yeager-Crasselt. Changing Forms: Metamorphosis in Myth, Art, and Nature 1650–1700. Exh. cat. Poughkeepsie, New York, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College. Poughkeepsie, New York, 2021.

This exhibition was made possible by generous support provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Netherland-America Foundation.

Samuel van Hoogstraten, Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, ca. 1671–76.

An Inner World: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting explores Dutch artists’ interest in depicting figures in interior spaces and in moments of contemplation or quiet exchange. The show features exceptional paintings by artists working in or near the city of Leiden, including nine paintings from The Leiden Collection and one painting from the Clark Art Institute. Among the artists represented are Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Willem van Mieris, and Jacob Toorenvliet. The exhibition also includes rare seventeenth-century books from Penn’s Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

An Inner World was curated by Lara Yeager-Crasselt, The Leiden Collection, and Heather Gibson Moqtaderi, Arthur Ross Gallery.

This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue: Heather Moqtaderi and Lara Yeager-Crasselt, eds. An Inner World: Seventeenth-Century Dutch Genre Painting. Exh. cat. Philadelphia, Arthur Ross Gallery, University of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia, 2021.

The catalogue for this project received funding through a grant from the Netherland-America Foundation.

Gabriel Metsu, Woman Reading a Book by a Window, ca. 1653–54
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