10/08/2021 - 01/02/2022
Dr. Howard Berger and Fran Berger generously donated their Rembrandt print collection to the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art in 2014. Their goal in collecting Rembrandt’s prints was to highlight the artist’s nuanced relationship with Amsterdam’s citizens of the Jewish faith, and the keen insights the artist brought to interpretations of Old Testament Bible stories.
Rembrandt’s legacy as an etcher is characterized by the new and innovative techniques he introduced to printmaking. He broke with longstanding, traditional depictions of biblical narratives; instead, Rembrandt added emotional and psychological depth to his subjects through expressive faces, dramatic body language, and his bold use of shadow and light. In addition, the Berger Print Collection interprets the history of the Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews living in Amsterdam in the seventeenth century. Amsterdam was unique in this period for its acceptance of “outsiders” during a time of widespread religious intolerance in Europe.