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Selected Old Masters from the Picker

The Picker Art Gallery is pleased to launch "Selected Old Masters from the Picker Art Gallery" as the first of what will become a series of curated digital exhibitions that showcase the permanent collection. This project, initiated by Colgate art history professor Judith Oliver, was inspired by the recent acquisition of "Old Master" paintings from the collection of Max Oberlander, which came to Colgate through the generosity of Donald ’46 and Renate Schaefer. This gift has dramatically enriched the Picker’s holdings of pre-modern European art. The current exhibition, which draws on the Picker’s permanent collection of works from the 15th to 17th centuries, seeks to place these new acquisitions in the broader context of how we understand art by the "Old Masters" and in so doing deepens our appreciation of this extraordinary gift.

During her many years at Colgate, where her courses have spanned the fields of Medieval and Northern Renaissance Art, Prof. Oliver has frequently lent her expertise to the Picker as a guest curator, organizing two shows of material borrowed from other institutions: photographs of Gothic cathedral structure ("Robert Mark's Gothic Structure: A Technological Reinterpretation") in 1985 and medieval manuscript leaves ("Pages from the Medieval Past") in 1987. Students enrolled in her seminars and very popular course on museum studies have also curated shows for the gallery resulting from their original research on little known works in the collection: the "Plaster Doors of Pisa" in spring 2006 and "What Museums Collect: From the Cabinet of Curiosities to Modern Curatorial Challenges" in May 2012.

This is Prof. Oliver’s first digital exhibition for the Picker. Although it was inspired by the acquisition of the Oberlander collection, it is also the culmination of her extensive research on objects in the Picker’s collection that were produced before 1800. As a result of this research, and this show, we now have a greatly expanded understanding of a diverse and rich resource that can be shared with future generations of Colgate students.


Judith Oliver, Professor of Art & Art History and Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Digital exhibition coordinator/designer
Jesse Henderson, Visual Resources Curator, Art & Art History
Research assistant
Michelle VanAuken, Visual Resources Assistant Curator, Art & Art History
Mark Williams, Art Studio Technician, Art & Art History
Additional support
Melissa Davies, Educator, Picker Art Gallery
Amanda Douberley, Consulting Curator, Picker Art Gallery
Sarisha Guarneiri, Registrar, Picker Art Gallery
Tammy Larson, Administrative Assistant, Picker Art Gallery
Ashley Stagner, Gallery Assistant, Picker Art Gallery