[lg policy] New York: Exploring Dutch Legacy 400 Years After Hudson

Lauren Zentz laurenzentz at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jul 6 19:08:03 UTC 2009

Haven't read it yet, but saw the word Dutch, so I figured, Well, I guess I
*have* to send it to P!!  :-PHow was Canada Day?
I was in PA at my aunt's for the 4th, and another aunt and uncle came down
for the day.  Twas a great time!

On Sun, Jul 5, 2009 at 11:48 AM, Harold Schiffman <haroldfs at gmail.com>wrote:

> --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> July 3, 2009
> Exploring Dutch Legacy 400 Years After Hudson By WENDY MOONAN
> 400 Years After Hudson
> “Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture,” an ambitious
> exhibition at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, reveals how New
> Yorkers have both embraced and mocked their Dutch heritage since 1609,
> when Henry Hudson first sailed up the river that now bears his name.
> The Dutch ruled New York for little more than five decades, but even
> after they lost it to the British in 1664, Dutch colonists held on to
> their heritage. For nearly a century they continued to speak Dutch,
> attend the Dutch Reformed Church and maintain Dutch dress, traditions
> and architectural forms (windmills and stone farmhouses).
> The exhibition includes the kinds of Dutch furnishings that might have
> been found in 17th- century estates: pewter plates, silver bowls,
> brass candlesticks, Dutch tiles, Bible boxes, Delft jars and Dutch
> cupboards, called kasts. One unusual kast on view is covered with
> trompe l’oeil fruit and foliage painted to imitate carved-wood
> decorations. A garniture of handsome blue-and-white Delft jars sits on
> top. Such things would have belonged to someone very proud of his
> Dutch heritage.
> By the 1800s, however, the new American republic was flaunting its
> independence from Europe and satirizing its Dutch legacy. Paintings by
> the American artist John Quidor portray Dutch patriots like Peter
> Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of New York, as unruly, overweight
> and hard living. Quidor took his inspiration from Washington Irving’s
> humorous 1809 book “Knickerbocker’s History of New York.” In it Irving
> describes Stuyvesant as “tough, sturdy, valiant, weather-beaten,
> mettlesome, obstinate.”
> Quidor goes further. In “Antony Van Corlear Brought Into the Presence
> of Peter Stuyvesant,” an 1839 painting, Quidor shows the peg-legged
> Stuyvesant as bursting out of his britches, probably drunk, as he sits
> sprawled in a thronelike chair in his crowded office, smoking his
> pipe. He is waving his walking stick in the air to the music of his
> favorite trumpeter, Van Corlear. Behind him a white-haired old man and
> a black man are dancing, wildly gesticulating to the beat.
> “Quidor is making fun of Stuyvesant, and he is much more mean spirited
> than Irving,” said Laura Vookles, the museum’s chief curator of
> collections. “He zeroed in on and exaggerated moments in Irving and
> combined them with stereotypes. The humor is affectionate, but like
> all burlesque it can be mean.”
> After the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876 Dutch New Yorkers, like
> others who started to re-examine their colonial roots, formed an
> organization as a way of reclaiming their heritage, calling it the
> Holland Society. “They wanted to make a statement about their pedigree
> and elite lineage, almost like American aristocrats,” Ms. Vookles
> said. “They smoked Dutch pipes, socialized a lot, traveled to Holland
> and even arranged for a replica of the Half Moon” — Hudson’s ship —
> “to be made.”
> The society also promoted scholarship, paying to have early Dutch
> Reformed Church documents translated for the first time, for example.
> “The image of the Dutch was totally turned around,” Ms. Vookles said.
> “Now the Dutch were seen as good and industrious, neat, clean, upright
> Calvinists.”
> This positive perception was abundantly on display during the 1909
> Hudson-Fulton celebration, held in New York and other towns along the
> river. A poster depicts the Half Moon sailing in front of Fulton’s
> steamship, an ocean liner, Wilbur Wright’s biplane and the Statue of
> Liberty.
> Upstate, Poughkeepsie paid its own tribute. “In public speeches
> President Taylor of Vassar credited the Dutch with New York’s
> cosmopolitanism, largess and liberality, while Henry S. Van Duzen,
> president of the Poughkeepsie Holland Society, reminded his audience
> of the Dutch institutions of freedom of worship and free schools that
> had taken root here,” Roger Panetta writes in the excellent companion
> volume to the show. Van Duzen heralded “the Dutch energy and Dutch
> strength and Dutch force to which we are indebted in this nation.”
> Could any speech be more appropriate today for the quadricentennial?
> (The show, which closes on Jan. 10, is only one of many programs
> marking the quadricentennial of Hudson’s discovery in New York.
> Information: exploreny400.com.)
> When word came this week that the Grosvenor House Art & Antiques Fair
> in London was going out of business after 75 years, news reports
> suggested that its demise was because this year’s edition had not been
> very successful. The actual reason might have more to do with real
> estate. The fair is held in the ballroom of the Grosvenor House Hotel.
> “It is the largest ballroom in London and is used enormously,” said
> Diana Cawdell, a spokeswoman for the fair. “It is much-sought-after as
> a location. The hotel simply didn’t want it taken off the market for
> three weeks.”
> Simon Phillips, a London dealer and chairman of the fair, said he was
> disappointed.
> “This June was the best show I’ve ever had,” he said. “But what we are
> retiring are the venue and title. Another fair is definitely not out
> of the question.”
> Asked if his fair would merge with the Olympia International Art &
> Antiques Fair, whose 2009 edition ended on June 13 in London, Mr.
> Phillips said, “Definitely not.”
> July 19 is closing day for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s blockbuster
> show “Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence” in London.
> Using piped-in music, film projected on the gallery walls and some 200
> objects, the exhibition makes the case that Baroque was the first
> truly global style, one exported to Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Goa, India
> and the Philippines.
> Baroque style is unabashedly opulent, but the presentation here is
> spare. Old master paintings, ornate furniture from Versailles, huge
> silver chandeliers, gilded altarpieces and German court jewels are
> silhouetted against plain backgrounds of different colors.
> Music fills galleries devoted to theater, public spaces, sacred spaces
> and palaces. We see how kings like Louis XIV employed spectacle
> (opera, plays, public celebrations) to express power. A new
> documentary film on the court theater at Cesky Krumlov in the Czech
> Republic shows men manipulating winches to move sets and candle
> lanterns.
> As a style Baroque was highly adaptable, which contributed to its
> global success. It’s a pity this show won’t travel the same routes
> Baroque took.
> --
> =+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
>  Harold F. Schiffman
> Professor Emeritus of
>  Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
> Dept. of South Asia Studies
> University of Pennsylvania
> Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
> Phone:  (215) 898-7475
> Fax:  (215) 573-2138
> Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
> http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/
> -------------------------------------------------
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