Ithaca, NYLines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt’s Etchings has been awarded the 2018 Henry Allen Moe Prize for Catalogs of Distinction in the Arts from the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The annual award recognizes excellence in publications on exhibitions and collections located or exhibited in New York State.

Lines of Inquiry Rembrandt Johnson Museum Cornell

Jointly organized by the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University and the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, the exhibition catalogue was published in 2017 to accompany the exhibition of the same name, cocurated by Andrew C. Weislogel, Seymour R. Askin, Jr. ’47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art at the Johnson, and Andaleeb Badiee Banta, then curator of European and American art at the Allen.

More than sixty impressions from across Rembrandt’s oeuvre were brought together from the collections of Cornell, Harvard, Princeton, Syracuse, and Yale Universities, Oberlin and Vassar Colleges, the University of Kansas, the Morgan Library & Museum, and from private collectors to show the artist’s process, including how he made changes to his plates, and detail his use of a variety of printing supports. Subject matter ranges from portraits and self-portraits to genre scenes, religious narratives, landscapes, study plates, and academic nude studies.

The story of how Oberlin temporarily sheltered the Morgan Library’s 487 Rembrandt impressions during World War II is published for the first time in the catalogue. Lines of Inquiry also links new research from a cross-disciplinary project at Cornell on Rembrandt’s watermarks, the WIRE (Watermark Identification in Rembrandt’s Etchings) project. Led by Weislogel and Cornell Professor C. Richard Johnson, Jr., students developed and expanded a computer-assisted decision tree for classifying watermarks, based on the work of the Rijksmuseum’s Erik Hinterding, using digitized beta-radiographs and low-energy x-radiographs of Rembrandt etchings. The WIRE project is supported in part by a Digital Humanities Advancement Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Andrew C. Weislogel is the Seymour R. Askin, Jr. ’47 Curator of Earlier European and American Art at the Johnson Museum of Art. He holds a BA in Medieval Studies from Hamilton College and an MA and PhD in Italian and French Renaissance art from Cornell. He has served on the staff of the Johnson Museum since 1999.

Andaleeb Badiee Banta is senior curator and department head of prints, drawings, and photographs at the Baltimore Museum of Art. She holds an MA and PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

Additional contributors to the catalogue were Stephanie Wiles, former Richard J. Schwartz Director of the Johnson Museum; Andria Derstine, the John G. W. Cowles Director of the Allen Museum; and Brittany R. R. Rubin, print room curatorial assistant at the Johnson. The catalogue was designed by Mo Viele in Ithaca and printed at Midstate Printing (QMC Group) in Liverpool, New York.

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The Johnson Museum has a permanent collection of more than 35,000 works of art from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America. The museum building was designed by I. M. Pei. Funds for the building were donated by Cornell alumnus Herbert F. Johnson, late president and chairman of S C Johnson. The building opened in 1973.


The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, located on the campus of Cornell University, is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Metered parking is available in the lot next to the Museum. For more information, please call 607 255-6464.