: the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time
For many years now, around kitchen tables and cocktail tables, I’ve been hearing about the Dutch in Asia and how and what to present to modern audiences of the far-reaching influence of that luxurious golden age.
: something that is helpful or welcome and that is not usually or always available
I even went to Amsterdam over the holidays in part to see installed at the Dutch national museum the nearly 200 superlative works of art – paintings, ceramics, silver, lacquerware, furniture, jewelry and books – eventually collected in “Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age” that reveal the transformative impact of Asian luxuries on Dutch art and life in the 17th century.
: very happy and successful
Founded less than a year apart – in 1798 and 1799 – the Rijksmuseum and the Peabody Essex Museum are caretakers of superlative collections inextricably linked to early international trade. They also now serve themselves as personal ports for my own engagement with our wide and fascinating world.
: the time of life when a person does something or becomes legally able to do something
Ostensibly, the objects collected in this exhibition show us how the dutch perceived and valued imported luxuries from Asia, the lengths to which they would go to acquire them, and how they incorporated them into their lives, but they also challenge all of us to imagine how far into the Other we can journey and to what extent we might allow the Other to change our daily lives.
It’s interesting to think about our own personal golden ages. To what ends we might go to cultivate them, and what affects those efforts might have on ourselves and others.
“Asia in Amsterdam: The Culture of Luxury in the Golden Age”
on vies at PEM February 27 – June 5