VAIL — The old world meets the new world when a rare exhibit of Rembrandt etchings goes on display in the Grand View Room of the Lionshead Welcome Center on July 31.
Drs. Toby and Morton Mower have generously provided more than 80 original etchings by the Dutch master for a special showing entitled “Art for Hearts” that opens to the public Aug. 1-7, following a VIP reception July 31. Proceeds benefit Starting Hearts, an Eagle County nonprofit dedicated to saving the lives of sudden cardiac arrest victims.
“This is a truly unique opportunity for Colorado residents and guests to see the work of one of the world’s most remarkable artists,” said Starting Hearts founder Lynn Blake. “I cannot adequately express how thankful I am to the Mowers for allowing Starting Hearts to provide public access to their collection. This is something that any art lover does not want to miss.”
Dr. Morton Mower is the co-inventor of the automatic implantable cardioverter defibrillator, one of which was inserted in Blake in 2007 after experiencing SCA. The Mowers have a Beaver Creek home and have been avid art collectors for approximately 20 years.
Rembrandt (1606-69) is likely best remembered for his paintings; his early success came in the high baroque style frequently featuring Old Testament subjects. In the latter part of his career and life, Rembrandt’s work took on a more pastoral theme. His etchings are equally remarkable for his innovation and experimentation with the process — the artist “draws” with a needle on copper plate that has been coated in resin. An acid bath etches the lines into the copper; the process is repeated until the image reaches the artist’s intended vision and is inked for transfer to paper. He also used a drypoint method — the needle is used to draw directly onto the plate (without the resin) — as well as combining both techniques to fashion one image. Rembrandt created over 300 etchings and drypoints over the course of his career, which first came to light in 1626; many of his works reflected his observations of the Amsterdam ghetto.
“In addition to Rembrandt being a great innovator and experimenter in the way he produced his art, his etchings, which could be produced en masse, made it possible for ordinary citizens to own art. Previously, only clergy and royalty could afford that luxury,” Morton Mower said. “He also documented everyday life in Amsterdam, much like the photographers of today, and his work gives insight into the beliefs and politics of that enlightened era.”
Art for Hearts is open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 1-7, with an admission of $10. Proceeds benefit the ongoing programs of Starting Hearts, which provide outreach and education on the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest and the life-saving actions that bystanders can take.
“Our goal is to make Eagle County the safest place to have SCA,” said Blake, who has targeted much of her effort to prepare for the 175,000 or more spectators expected to visit the valley during the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships.