2 images: on the left is The Mowers with a painting in the Her Paris exhibition. On the right is a Rembrandt print of an old man with a flowing beard

Learning from Rembrandt

Denver Collectors Loaned 27 Works

You might be interested to know that many of the Rembrandt prints in Rembrandt: Painter as Printmaker (Sept. 16-January 6) did not come from very far away, but from the Colorado-based collection of Drs. Toby and Morton Mower. The Denver Art Museum is pleased to be showing 27 Rembrandt prints from the Mowers’ collection in the exhibition. Gates Family Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture Timothy Standring commented that, “Having the Mowers’ collection in Denver helped to draw the rest of this world-class exhibition together, and we are so pleased to have their support of this project.”

Mort and Toby started collecting art with impressionist paintings, and actually lent paintings recently to Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism and Degas: A Passion for Perfection. However, at one point, their art dealer suggested a Rembrandt print or two. This ended up leading the couple on an unstoppable path of discovery, and prints by Rembrandt now comprise the largest area of their collection. As Mort says, “It got completely out of hand.”

The way he explains it, “I became fascinated by Rembrandt as a person and then by what he was trying to say through his work. First, he was like a photographer of his day in the way he documented scenes from daily life as well as exotic subjects that travelers would describe to him.”

Rembrandt himself never travelled outside of the Netherlands, but Amsterdam was such a hub for trade and commerce that there were always interesting subjects and stories around him. Mort continues, “What I also find very interesting is researching the countless icons and symbols he uses in his work, which are often not explained in the art historical literature. What I find, is that the more you know about Rembrandt and the more you look at his work, the more there is to see.”

Mort also commented on what an experimental artist Rembrandt was. “He explored different ways of making the image that had never been done before. His way of handling light through cross-hatching and shading was actually very innovative and is very impressive when you look closely, especially with an ordinary magnifying glass”

This is what Mort and Toby recommend above all to visitors of the exhibition: “Look closely and enjoy!”

Images: The Mowers with one of their loans in Her Paris: Women Artists in the Age of Impressionism, and one of their loans in Rembrandt: Painter as Printermaker. Rembrandt van Rijn, Old Man with a Flowing Beard, 1630. Etching, only state; Collection of Drs. Tobia and Morton Mower. Courtesy of Denver Art Museum

Mary Beth Polce is a major gifts officer in the development department at the Denver Art Museum. Mary Beth has been at the DAM since 2013 and her favorite exhibition that has been on view here is Spun: Adventures in Textiles.