Thinking Small: Dutch Art to Scale explores an intriguing selection of objects from the 17th-century Netherlands that were designed to elicit slow, intimate, and contemplative engagement on the part of their original audiences. This student-curated exhibition features small-scale works in various media drawn from the rich holdings of the Yale University Art Gallery and other collections across campus, as well as the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and a private collection. Amid the global expansion of Dutch commerce in this period, diagrams and maps miniaturized large geographic areas, and botanical books bore witness to their makers’ meticulous study of the natural world. Paintings filled with minute details enticed viewers to move close and scrutinize the image, while medals that were meant to be held in the hand served as cherished commemorative tokens. In their size or intricacy, the objects in Thinking Small compel viewers to reconsider their relationship to the world around them.
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Exhibition made possible by the Jane and Gerald Katcher Fund for Education. Organized by Adam Chen, TD ’23, B.A./M.A. candidate, History of Art; Ekaterina Koposova, Ph.D. student, History of Art at Yale; Renata Nagy, Ph.D. candidate, History of Art; and Joyce Zhou, Ph.D. student, History of Art, under the mentorship of Marisa Bass, Professor in the History of Art; Jessie Park, the Nina and Lee Griggs Assistant Curator of European Art; and Freyda Spira, the Robert L. Solley Curator of Prints and Drawings, and in collaboration with the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.