FRAME Digital Projects
The French American Museum Exchange (FRAME) has awarded the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art a grant to fund two digital content creation projects which provides new opportunities for interaction with the collection beyond the museum walls. The Wadsworth’s painting of Adam by the Dutch artist Hendrick Goltzius and its Cabinet of Art and Curiosity, will engage companion works in the collections of FRAME member institutions Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg and Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes.
Cabinet of Art and Curiosity goes Virtual
Cabinets of Art and Curiosity were places of universal learning in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The museums of their time, they offered first-hand knowledge of the distant world through objects that people could see with their own eyes, and touch with their own hands. The Wadsworth revealed its Cabinet of Art and Curiosity in 2015. An immersive, interactive environment, the Cabinet fills an entire gallery and holds over 200 awe-inspiring objects from the seventeenth century organized into four thematic sections: Belief, Antiquity, Exploration, and Artistry. Cabinets of Art and Curiosities began to decline after the seventeenth century, but an eighteenth-century example can be found at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rennes. The forthcoming digital content will draw connections to the Cabinet in Rennes and enable visitors to immerse themselves in the Wadsworth’s Cabinet to explore its many treasures from afar.
In 2010 Hendrick Goltzius’s portrait of Adam was reunited with its counterpart Eve from the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg in the exhibition Reunited Masterpieces: From Adam and Eve to George and Martha. The exhibition reunited works in the Wadsworth’s collection with their original companion works from around the world. The reunion of Goltzius’s Adam and Eve was possibly the first time the two works had been experienced side-by-side in a century. Collector’s seals on the back of each panel indicate that the paintings were probably together in a collection in Brittany in the nineteenth century. Eve was later purchased by the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Strasbourg in 1936 and Adam disappeared until 2003, when it was acquired by the Wadsworth. The joyful reunification of Goltzius’ mesmerizing Adam and Eve from 2010 informs this digital experience where Adam and Eve are virtually brought together again with fresh observations.
These projects are made possible by a grant from the French American Museum Exchange (FRAME).
Images: Visitors engage with the Cabinet of Art and Curiosity at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art; Installation view of Reunited Masterpieces: From Adam and Eve to George and Martha, 2010, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art