Drawn to Life: Master Drawings from the Age of Rembrandt in the Peck Collection at the Ackland Art Museum

September 23, 2022 - December 31, 2022

A ship with its sails down sitting in a harbor

The Ackland Art Museum is pleased to present Drawn to Life, the first major exhibition of the Peck Collection since its donation by the late Drs. Sheldon and Leena Peck in 2017. Comprised of over 130 largely seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish drawings, the transformative gift established the Ackland as one of a handful of university art museums in the United States where northern European drawings can be studied in depth. Drawn from this exceptional and diverse group of works, the exhibition features over 70 Dutch drawings spanning the 1600s and showcases many previously unpublished and rarely exhibited works.

Drawn to Life brings together a broad selection of images depicting landscapes, everyday life, portraits, preparatory studies, and biblical and historical scenes, forming a dynamic and representative group of drawings made by some of the most outstanding artists of the period. Drawings by well-known artists, such as Jacob van Ruisdael, Jan van Goyen, Adriaen van Ostade, Ferdinand Bol, Nicolaes Maes, Jan Lievens, and Gerard ter Borch, among others, appear alongside sheets by lesser-known artists like Guillam Dubois, Herman Naiwincx, Willem Romeyn, and Jacob van der Ulft, demonstrating the discerning eye for quality developed by the Pecks over four decades. A number of drawings by Rembrandt, the most celebrated artist of this period, and his pupils, represent a particular highlight of the exhibition.

Organized around six thematic groupings, including Artists at Work; The Traveling Artist; The New Landscape; Mirror of the Everyday; Characters and Sitters; and Imagined Histories, Drawn to Life celebrates the creativity and technical skills of Dutch artists who explored the beauty of the natural world and the dynamic, multifaceted aspects of humanity. An accompanying catalogue meticulously researched and written by Robert Fucci, Ph.D., the Ackland’s Peck Research Fellow, introduces scholars and drawings enthusiasts to the depth and beauty of the Peck Collection. A website devoted to the entire Peck Collection, which will feature superior image viewing capabilities and in-depth information, will launch at the time of the exhibition.


Image Credit:

Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606-1669, Canal and boats with a distant view of Amsterdam, c. 1655, pen and brown ink and wash, 4 1/16 × 8 in. (10.3 × 20.3 cm), The Peck Collection, 2017.1.67.