|Portrait of Maria van Oosterwijck, Wallerant Vaillant, 1671, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam.|
At Girl Museum, we are usually happy to see other institutions produce exhibitions about women, but at the same time we have to be cautious about the interpretation. Dutch Girls: Top Models of the Golden Age is a new exhibition on until December 12 at the Schiphol Airport annex of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
It is a small collection of 17th century portraits of well-to-do women. ‘Top models’ is a bit cliché, surely connoting a value system that would be heretical at the time these works were painted. These were important women, not models, because then models were not important women and the suggestion would have been equally heretical. Although vanity images do continue to be popular today, they are now typically in the form of sex tapes, nip slips and fake wedding portraits.
The promotional video clip is a bit naff too. Clearly the guys have been asked to stereotype contemporary Dutch girls rather than about the art.
If you see this exhibition, please let us know what it is like and what you think about it. Too bad it is just at the airport gallery.
-Ashley E. Remer
Girl Museum Inc.