Art Collection Collection Reflection Curatorial European

Collection Reflection: Curator Tanya Paul on Jan van Os

In this first iteration of Collection Reflection, Tanya Paul examines the notion of still life as it has been treated in artwork across time.

Multi-colored flowers overflowing in vase
Jan van Os (Dutch, 1744–1808), Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase, after 1780 (detail). Oil on panel, 35 1/8 × 27 5/8 in. (89.22 × 70.17 cm). Layton Art Collection Inc., Gift of Frederick Layton L111 Photo by John R. Glembin

A museum’s collection is, by its very nature, carefully organized, its objects categorized by geographic origin, medium, chronology, and other defining characteristics. However, works of art have many qualities that defy these traditional institutional divisions. Through a series of videos, we will examine these broader elements, seeking commonalities and new ways of connecting the works in the Museum’s collection. We invite you to join us as each curator focuses on a single work of art, exploring both that object and how the object speaks to the collection as a whole, as well as to the chosen theme in particular. 

In this first iteration, we examine the notion of still life as it has been treated in artwork across time.

We begin with an exploration of a traditional eighteenth-century Dutch flower piece and will build our connections from there.

Tanya Paul is the Isabel and Alfred Bader Curator of European Art. She oversees the research, exhibition, and acquisition of European art at the Museum, primarily focusing on material from the fourteenth century through the early twentieth century.

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