Marleen Ram

Dutch Art & Design Today

14-12-2022 • 46分

'The Teylers is a natural history museum, and up until the nineteenth century collected all kinds of beautiful books on birds. And one of those books is about doves—and Pauline de Courcelles made the illustrations for that book, and became very famous for it. We didn't have any drawings by her in the collection... She specialized in bird drawings. And there are not so many drawings by her on the market, so we were pretty lucky to find one. It's a large drawing on vellum and the colors are super bright. It's a bird of paradise; a really colorful, beautiful, elegant bird. The colors red and purple are still so bright... And, unfortunately, we don't have many drawings by female artists in our collection... So it's really wonderful that we could now add a work by her, to our collection.'

—Marleen Ram

For the fourth episode of 'Dutch Art & Design Today', I sat down with Marleen Ram—Curator of Art Collections at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Marleen's career has, so far, allowed her to live and, work, in Florence, Paris, and Amsterdam—at the Uffizi Gallery, the Fondation Custodia, and at the Rijksmuseum's Prentenkabinet, respectively—where she researched and published on some of the most well-known and treasured drawings from artists ranging from Rafael to Rembrandt, and many more. We begin this episode by discussing her formative years living and working in those cities; how she gained her connoisseurial eye for studying Old Master drawings, by spending so much time studying drawings firsthand; and what she learned from these experiences.

Later in the episode, Marleen reflects further on her work with drawings in art museums during the early-2010s, and the importance of museums digitizing and making their collections accessible, during that same period. We then zoom in on how she found her way to the Teylers Museum, and the museum's own history; the upcoming exhibition she is preparing with a team at the museum, about its former keeper—and an artist himself—Wybrand Hendricks; and then discuss the museum's recent acquisition of a gorgeous bird of paradise drawing, by French artist Pauline de Courcelles. Lastly, Marleen muses on what life was like in the eighteenth century, and to conclude, expounds on what makes Old Master drawings so special, and worth spending the time, to look at, up close.

You can find out more about the Teylers Museum over on their website.

You can find John on X @johnbezold and at his website

'Dutch Art & Design Today' is published by Semicolon-Press.