Barbarians & Philosophers
The image of China in the Golden Age
25 March – 20 August 2017
In the present day, many Europeans look at China with a mixture of amazement and wonder. ‘Made in China’ has become an essential part of our everyday life. The image of the country, however, is not that straight forward. The Chinese traditions, form of government, literature and philosophy are not always that easy to fit into the Western view of the world. This situation is comparable to that in the 17th century, when Chinese products became a standard fixture in Dutch households for the very first time and illustrated travel accounts about China enjoyed unmatched popularity. At the same time, the new knowledge often collided with our old assumptions of the Middle Kingdom. Chinese stereotypes kept their footing and many of them even up to the present day. A similar dynamic occurred in China that can be traced back to the first meetings with the Dutch. As ‘red-haired barbarians’ they, in their turn, caused amazement. The exhibition and corresponding book Barbaren & Wijsgeren (Barbarians and Philosophers) shed more light on this versatile cultural exchange in the Golden Age.
Museum in Bloom
25 March – 21 May
Traditionally, the Frans Hals Museum is under the spell of flowers in spring. The museum is decorated with beautiful bouquets in special vases from the collection or made by guests such as Jing He (Design Academy Eindhoven). A small exhibition shows how artists from the Golden Age were inspired by flowers and the tulip mania. Students of the Rietveld Academy design new vases for the museum inspired by the intercultural exchange between China and the Netherlands.
A Global Table
23 September 2017 – 7 January 2018
The exhibition A Global Table, curated by Curatorial Fellow Abigail Winograd (Israël, 1983), takes place at both locations of the Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem. Point of departure for this transhistorical exhibition in which old and new art is presented side by side, is the 17th century still life collection of the museum. A Global Table represents an alternative interpretation of these works. The still life is treated as a historic document. Which colonial and trade relationships do the food products depicted on the still lifes represent? What do they say about the growing overseas power of the Republic and what were the social and cultural consequences of this Dutch urge for expansion? Winograd combines resplendent foodstill lifes of the Golden Age with art works of contemporary artists who have an interest in globalisation and the practical effects this phenomenon has on daily life.
The Art of Laughing. Humour in the Golden Age
11 November 2017 – 18 March 2018
Rarely have there been more humoristic paintings produced than in the Dutch Golden Age. Prosperity and a new buyer public encouraged artists to devise a huge variety of visual jokes. Naughty children, silly farmers, foolish dandies and tipplers, quacks, matchmakers, lazy maidservants and merry ladies – they all performed in large numbers in the showpieces of the Golden Age. The humour caught in the art works must have been easy to recognise for contemporaries. But now, a couple of centuries later, the visual jokes are not always that easy to unravel. In the past 15 years in particular, much new research was done and we are starting to gain insight into the full width and depth of 17th century visual jokes. For the very first time, this exhibition shows an overview of humour in 17th century painting. The presentation encompasses approximately 60 showpieces from home and abroad by artists such as Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Gerrit van Honthorst and Judith Leyster.
And in 2018
Frans Hals and the Moderns
13 Oktober 2018 – 10 February 2019
Late 19th century artists such as Edouard Manet, Max Liebermann, John Singer Sargent and Vincent van Gogh were swept away by the loose style and rough brush work of Frans Hals. The first exhibition dedicated to this subject, stages a dialogue between the paintings of the famous 17th century portraitist and the painterly reactions of artists that are just as famous but from a different Golden Age of painting. By placing the works of Frans Hals next to works and artists that were inspired by him, insight is gained into how modern Frans Hals was in their perception: “Frans Hals, c’est un moderne”.