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The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to Receive Two Major Donations


Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh by Rembrandt.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is set to receive not one but two collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish art, including a Rembrandt.

On Wednesday the museum announced that two couples, Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matthew Weatherbie, have committed to donating their collections.

“Eijk and I couldn’t be happier that our collection will find a home at the MFA, where it can be displayed, loaned and shared with the widest possible audiences,” said Rose-Marie van Otterloo.”

Together the donations will include 113 works by 76 artists. Of particular interest is Rembrandt’s “Portrait of Aeltje Uylenburgh” from 1632. The portrait will join five other works by Rembrandt at the museum.

“Rose-Marie, Eijk, Susan and Matt are pathbreaking collectors and philanthropists. Together, their paintings, combined with those of the MFA, complement each other and enrich our understanding of Dutch and Flemish art,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, the museum’s director.

The van Otterloos and Weatherbies have committed to donating more than just their art collections. They have also dedicated funds to establish a center for Netherlandish art at the museum.

“The ambition of the new center is to create fellowships for scholars in residence and encourage academic commitment to this material by making it available to a wide range of students and scholars,” Mr. Teitelbaum said by phone.

This announcement comes less than a year after the museum shared its plan to open a conservation center at the museum in 2020. “The state-of-the-art facilities, which will include the Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo Paintings Conservation Studio, will provide access to advanced technology that will be used to care for and study the collection,” reads a statement issued by the museum.

In an interview Mr. Teitelbaum emphasized that collaboration is the principle guiding the museum in these endeavors.

When asked what this gift will mean for Boston, he responded: “With the ambitions we have to collaborate with others and to create programing in conjunction with institutions in New England and beyond, it has the potential to show Boston that we are stronger when we’re together.”

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