In partnership with the Consulate General of the Netherlands, Black in Rembrandt’s Time: Dutch and American Perspectives brings together two voices, unique perspectives, and their parallel investigations into the representation of Black models in 17th century Dutch Art.
Join Stephanie Archangel, curator of the exhibition Black in Rembrandt’s Time (Rembrandt House Museum, 2020), and Yétundé Olagbaju, an artist and maker based in Oakland, in conversation as they discuss their contemporary approach to this theme from two different critical–and geographic– perspectives.
This event is part of Virtual Wednesdays, a weekly YouTube broadcast bringing you unique viewpoints exploring diversity, resilience, and creative spirit in the arts as we aim to reframe our exhibitions and collections. View upcoming Virtual Wednesdays programs.
About the Speakers
Yétundé Olagbaju is an artist and maker, currently residing in Oakland, CA. They utilize video, sculpture, action, gesture, and performance as through-lines for inquiries regarding Black labor, legacy, and processes of healing. They are rooted in the need to understand history, the people that made it, the myths surrounding them, and how their own body is implicated in history’s timeline. They have shown work and projects with Oakland Museum of California, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Pt. 2 Gallery, Southern Exposure, SOMArts Cultural Center, Untitled Art Fair, Art Basel, and more. They hold an MFA from Mills College and are the recipient of the inaugural Nancy Cook Fellowship, the Murphy Cadogan Awards, and the Jay Defeo Award. They are currently in residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts.
There were black people in seventeenth-century Holland, in society and in art, too. This fact has long—and undeservedly—been neglected. Rembrandt and many of his contemporaries actually made superb works of art featuring black people. But what is so striking about them? The stereotypes that would later determine the image of black people were yet to predominate. And black people were not just minor figures with subordinate roles, but the central subjects of the works of art. What strikes us in Rembrandt’s art and that of many of his contemporaries? The stereotypes that later fixed the image of black people were yet to prevail. Black people are not simply secondary figures in subordinate roles, but often the subjects of the work. The exhibition also tells the stories behind the works. Between around 1630 and 1660 there was a small community of free black people around Jodenbreestraat, in Rembrandt’s neighborhood. Recent research has revealed a lot more about these Afro-Amsterdammers. Black in Rembrandt’s Time is about overlooked works of art and representation, about recognition and acknowledgment
No registration required. Free online event.
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