Collecting and Scholarship: Netherlandish Art in Cambridge

Wolfson College celebrated the fortieth anniversary of the Speelman Fellowship in Dutch and Flemish Art in September 2011 with an international conference, Collecting and Scholarship: Netherlandish Art in Cambridge

The Speelman Fellowship is one of only two fellowships devoted to the study of Dutch and Flemish art in the English speaking world, and the conference provided a unique opportunity to reflect upon the collection and study of Netherlandish art in Cambridge.  Six former Speelman Fellows presented new research, while two invited scholars addressed aspects of collecting in Cambridge, from fifteenth-century Dutch manuscripts in the collection of the University Library to unpublished albums of Netherlandish prints at the Fitzwilliam Museum.  Together the talks highlighted the long-standing and intertwined traditions of scholarship and collecting in Cambridge.

The conference began with an evening event at the Fitzwilliam Museum, comprising a talk in the Dutch galleries by Assistant Director of Collections, David Scrase, a champagne reception in the Armoury and dinner in the Courtyard.  The following day the conference took place in Wolfson’s Lee Seng Tee Hall.  The event was generously funded by the Speelman family and attended by Anthony, Marie Anne and Lucy Speelman, as well as prominent scholars and curators in the field. 

The talks, listed below, will be compiled into an edited volume:

  • Joanna Woodall, Professor of History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art (Speelman Fellow, 1980-1982): Skin deep.  Hendrick Goltzius's Herculean bodies
  • Professor Ivan Gaskell, Bard Graduate Center (Speelman Fellow, 1983-1987): Fooled Again: Trompe l'oeil Revisited
  • Dr Maria-Isabel Pousão-Smith, independent scholar (Speelman Fellow, 1992-1996): Adriaen Brouwer's Hybrid Technique and Social Indeterminacy
  • Lindsey Shaw-Miller, (Speelman Fellow, 1996-2000): ‘Beautiful secrets’: poetical disclosure in the work of Michael Sweerts
  • Dr Cordula van Wyhe, Lecturer, University of York (Speelman Fellow, 2000-2005): Humour and Homosociability in Rembrandt's Nightwatch
  • Dr Meredith Hale, current Speelman Fellow: ‘The villain laughs up his sleeve’: Romeyn de Hooghe and the role of the satirist.