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Love Letters with Kevin Sherwin

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"I was inspired to create a piece of music that evoked the "sense of private, personal inner life," as art critic Aidan Dunne wrote about the exhibit. First, I drew upon a Dutch folk tune, "Drie Schutterbroers," which is heard in the introduction. Following this lively melody, I re-imagined the music that the people in these paintings would have heard. To enter this soundscape, I looked to compositional styles of the 1600s, and performed on a baroque guitar, modeled after a 10-string instrument from the year 1690." —Kevin Sherwin.

My Favorite Exhibition⁠

Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer⁠
January 17 – April 18, 2004⁠

In 2004, the Bruce Museum had the honor of presenting the exhibition Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer. Director Emeritus Peter C. Sutton and associates curated this exhibition of paintings from great museums and private collections all around the world. The show was comparable to exhibitions I’ve seen at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, but I didn’t have to leave Connecticut.⁠

Love Letters highlighted pieces from the golden age of Dutch art; paintings by Gerhard Der Borch, Dirick Hals, Gabriel Metsu, Peter de Hooch, Jan Steen, and many others. Even Johannes Vermeer was represented in this groundbreaking exhibition. With such amazing artwork it was so much fun to lead public tours as a docent. ⁠
Many people from other countries visited the Bruce to see the exhibition. During my tours, I had wonderful discussions with visitors about the paintings, analyzing the possible meanings of each one. The exhibition catalogue, produced by the Bruce Museum, and written by Ann Jensen Adams, Lisa Vergara, and Peter Sutton, is a masterpiece, with many beautiful, fully illustrated pages and essays. ⁠

This was, hands down, my favorite exhibition, and I was thrilled to be a docent leading tours!⁠

– Denny Elliot, Docent Emeritus, Bruce Museum⁠

About the Exhibition⁠
The Bruce Museum organized Love Letters: Dutch Genre Paintings in the Age of Vermeer in partnership with the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Comprised of 45 paintings drawn from European and American collections, the show examined the sudden interest among Dutch painters in scenes involving letters, their writing, dictation, delivery, and reception. To purchase a copy of the Love Letters catalogue,⁠

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