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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Want to Look Dutch? Put a Bag on your Head: Dutch Photogs Do The Old Masters at MCNY

Art Review - 'Dutch Seen' - ‘Dutch Seen - New York Rediscovered’ at the Museum of the City of New York -

“Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered,” organized by Kathy Ryan, who is director of photography for The New York Times Magazine, takes the old Dutch-New York connection and runs with it. The show, at the Museum of the City of New York, is part of NY400, a series of exhibitions and events commemorating the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage on the Half Moon, financed by the Dutch East India Company. (Never mind that Hudson was being paid to find a shortcut to Asia; the Dutch liked it here well enough to stay a while.)

For the exhibition, Ms. Ryan recruited 13 contemporary Dutch photographers to rediscover New York through the lens of the “classical tradition.” It’s not the classical tradition of photography she’s referring to, however. Instead it’s the golden age of Dutch painting, which coincided with the initial “discovery” of New York — artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. “Let’s just assume the ghosts of those three men sit on all Dutch shoulders,” Ms. Ryan says in the show’s catalog.

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