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What's Up Magazine

An Interview with Anke Van Wagenberg

Jun 27, 2013 06:40PM ● By Anonymous

Where were you prior to the Academy Art Museum?

I taught college art history at Salisbury University, Washington College in Chestertown, and at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, where I also was director of the campus gallery. Prior to that, I worked for the Walters on an exhibition and served as gallery director of the Art Institute and Gallery. I also previously worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

What attracted you to the Eastern Shore and the Academy Art Museum?

The beautiful, flat landscape of the Eastern Shore is very similar to my native Netherlands. What attracted me to the area in particular were the relative remoteness yet proximity to cities, as well as the inspiring number of artists and artist communities. It is a great area to have a young family, as well as to write.

How would you describe the collections at the museum?

The Permanent Collection of the museum began more than 50 years ago and is growing. The undisputed strength of the collection of the Academy Art Museum lies in the area of works on paper—prints, drawings, and photographs. The Academy Art Museum aspires to achieve a nationally recognized art collection. Currently, the museum collects European and American Art in all media. In order to maximize resources and achieve the greatest impact, the museum will continue to give greater priority to works on paper (prints, drawings, and photographs) when making decisions regarding purchase. Other areas of special interest include works by artists of standing in, or connection to, our region, and works by artists who have exhibited at the museum. The museum should always be alert to the possibility of acquisitions that may have a transformative effect on the overall quality of the collection.

Have there been any particularly notable artists on display at the museum?

There are too many to list. The most significant big names in 2012 were Mark Rothko, Kyung-Lim Lee, and Pat Steir, while in 2013 we have on view an exhibition of works by James Turrell (James Turrell Perspectives), arguably the most significant living American artist. He has major retrospective exhibitions this year at the Guggenheim in New York, at the MFA in Houston and in Los Angeles, but also here in Easton! At the same time, I like exhibitions by local and regional individuals and groups, including our Member Exhibitions.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

Besides the artists listed above, I am a great admirer of a wide range of contemporary artists, as well as the great masters of the Renaissance, including Leonardo and Michelangelo, and the Baroque painters Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rubens, and, of course, Jan Baptist Weenix and his son Jan Weenix. I have been researching and writing the catalogue raisonné on the latter two.

Outside of your love for art, what are some of your personal hobbies and interests?

My rare vacations always include museum visits, as the arts are not “work” for me, but also my hobby. I also love to travel, as do my husband and my children.