Thursday, February 26, 2009, 6:15 PM
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 6:15 PM
6:15 p.m. Lecture (book signing to follow, Baumgartner Galleria)
7:15 p.m. Reception (optional), Windhover Hall, $15/person, RSVP 414-224-3293
In the hands of Timothy Brook's book Vermeer's Hat: The Seventeenth Century and the Dawn of the Global World, Vermeer's dazzling paintings become windows that reveal how daily life and thought—from Delft to Beijing—were transformed in the seventeenth century, when the world first became global.
Vermeer's images captivate us with their beauty and mystery: What stories lie behind these stunningly rendered moments? As Timothy Brook shows us, these pictures, which seem so intimate, actually offer a remarkable view of a rapidly expanding world. The officer's dashing hat is made of beaver fur, which European explorers received from Native Americans in exchange for weapons. Those beaver pelts, in turn, financed the voyages of sailors seeking new routes to China. There—with silver mined in Peru—Europeans would purchase, by the thousands, the porcelains so often shown in Dutch paintings of this time. Moving outward from Vermeer's studio, Brook traces the web of trade that was spreading across the globe.
Timothy Brook is Principal at St. John's College and Professor of Chinese History at the University of British Columbia. He completed this book while a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow. He has held the Shaw Chair in Chinese Studies at Oxford University and is the author of many books, including the award-winning Confusions of Pleasure.
Free with general admission
Sponsored by the Fine Arts Society