Art centre receives large donation

Bader family gives generous gift to AEAC

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Agnes Etherington Art Centre in the heart of campus.
Agnes Etherington Art Centre in the heart of campus.
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Last month, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre received a donation of 68 paintings by Dutch and Flemish Baroque artists, such as Abraham van Dijck and Willem Drost. All of the paintings stem from the personal collection of Alfred and Isabel Bader.

The centre, located on the corner of University Ave. and Bader Lane, currently houses a total of 15,000 paintings and artifacts.

Alfred and Isabel, who are both graduates and benefactors of Queen’s, have donated a total of 130 works of art to Queen’s University since 1967. Alfred Bader started collecting art with a specific concentration on the Flemish Baroque in 1951.

The paintings that were donated span from 1610-1710 and represent the work of 49 different artists. The most notable of the bunch is a self-portrait by Willem Drost, a student of the iconic master Rembrandt himself.

Also included in the donation is the richly textured work of Jan Lievens, two biblical works by Aert de Gelder, a single work by master Hendrick ter Brugghen and a portrait by the revered Jacobus Leveck.

“We are thrilled to receive this transformative gift, and honoured to be entrusted by the Baders with its care and interpretation,” Jan Allen, director of the Art Centre, said in a press release.

“As visitors will discover, the quality of the works is truly outstanding. We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing collection, and eager to share it with our immediate community and with students, researchers and audiences around the globe.”

Some staple elements of the Dutch Baroque include the use of rich earth tones, a concentration on detail and texture, a fascination with self-portraiture and the depiction of common objects.

The paintings were donated to provide students with an insight into the style and workmanship that characterized that period in art history.

“The Baders’ most recent gift adds another chapter to their long and enduring legacy at Queen’s,” said Queen’s Principal Daniel Woolf.

“This spectacular gift of paintings places the Agnes Etherington Art Centre among the leading university art galleries in Canada with one of the largest collections of European art in the country.”

The exhibition will carry on until June 1.

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