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Curator’s Choice: 5 Reasons You’ll Love Small Treasures

/ Exhibitions

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This weekend, the Birmingham Museum of Art will welcome Small Treasures: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals, and Their Contemporaries. Organized by the North Carolina Museum of Art and presented by PNC, Small Treasures brings together 40 small-scale masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age.

As Curator of European Art, I’m very excited to welcome this stunning exhibition. Here are a few reasons why you’ll love Small Treasures, too:

1. The Artists
You may already be familiar with several of the big names found in Small Treasures. I am particularly excited to host 2 paintings by Johannes Vermeer. There are only about three dozen works by him, and we are lucky enough to show 2! Also, many paintings in the exhibition are privately owned and rarely shown publicly. Some have never been shown before.

2. The Size
All 40 paintings in the exhibition are smaller than a sheet of notebook paper! Small paintings like these are an area of art history that has gone unnoticed for many years. In our exhibition, for the first time, we bring many of these works together to show their range of subject matter, explain the paintings’ purposes, and highlight the extraordinary skills of their makers.

3. The Details
Since each work of art is smaller than a sheet of notebook paper, one can only admire the artistic skill that went into producing these small miracles in paint and their incredibly intricate details. As we do every week at our Slow Art Sunday program, we encourage you to take your time to truly look at each painting. The closer you look, the more you see!

4. The Connection to our Collection
Within the show, we have created an additional exhibition, showcasing Rembrandt prints from our own collection, paintings by American artists who admired their earlier Dutch colleagues, European and American portrait miniatures, as well as small treasures from the BMA collection. From Wedgwood to African art, these small works illustrate the fascination with small things across different cultures, times, and places.

5. And – of course – The Party!
Be the first to see Small Treasures at opening night, Small Paintings, Big Party! The opening party takes place this Friday, January 30 from 6-9PM, with free admission for BMA members ($25 for non-members). See the exhibition, enjoy food and a cash bar, hear live music by The Chad Fisher Group, sample Trim Tab Brewing Co. beers and Stone Hollow Farmstead cheeses, and more. Join the event here and invite your friends.

Need parking for the night? See our map of parking options near the Museum.

We look forward to seeing you for opening weekend of this stunning exhibition.