Exhibition "Scripture for the Eyes" opens today in Atlanta


An exhibition with biblical engravings and woodcuts by Dutch and Flemish artists opens today in Atlanta, Georgia after a successful display in the Museum of Biblical Art in New York.

The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University presents Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century, a collection of approximately 80 works. The exhibition explores the ways in which printed illustrations of Biblical and other religious themes supplemented and magnified the texts they accompanied during a period of dramatic religious and political upheaval. Featured artists include Lucas van Leyden, Maarten van Heemskerck, Dirck Volkertszoon Coornhert, and Hieronymus Wierix.

Illustrations are on loan from 13 institutions including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Antwerp’s Plantin Museum, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The exhibition was earlier on display in the Museum of Biblical Art in New York and the New York Times wrote a glowing review about it:

"What remains undeniable [...] is the ability of Dutch printmakers to measure the heights and plumb the depths of the European soul."

Art in the 16th century helped the faithful to visualize and remember Bible stories but it also served to interpret these stories and to affirm church doctrine. The exhibition and catalog essays discuss the various aspects of this relationship between church and art. The New York Times:

"While some viewers may be fascinated by the scholarly issues and biblical themes that the exhibition so adroitly frames, the pictorial and narrative excitement will captivate many others. Among a series of dramatic scenes engraved by Philips Galle in 1565 is one showing soldiers tossing the accusers of Daniel into the lions’ den, a rocky hole in the ground. The hyperactive choreography of writhing, half-naked men and ravenous beasts — vivified by the syncopating play of light and shadow and the Michelangeloesque draftsmanship — is almost comically horrifying."

Michael C. Carlos Museum, Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the Sixteenth Century
Through January 24, 2010

Co-Founder of Dutch Bros. Coffee Chain Dies


Dane Boersma.A co-founder of Dutch Bros., a coffee chain at the West Coast, has died from Lou Gehrig's Disease.

The Associated Press: "Travis Boersma said his brother, 55-year-old Dane Boersma, died Thursday morning at his home in Grants Pass.

The Boersmas started Dutch Bros. pushing a coffee cart up and down the streets of Grants Pass. They started franchising the company in 2000. It has since grown to more than 150 coffee stands in seven states, with more than $50 million in sales last year."

Dane Boersma was born in Lynnwood, California and he is a third generation Dutch American. When he was diagnosed with ALS he started Dane's Drive to raise funds for research to find a cure for ALS. Mr. Boersma is survived by his wife, Sandy, a daughter and two sons.

Corine's Cafe: bitterballen, kroketten and appeltaart in North Carolina


Corine's Cafe, Mooresville, NC.Last week we visited Corine's Cafe in Mooresville, North Carolina, one of nearly 40 Dutch restaurants, bakeries and stores in the United States that we know of.

Corine's Cafe is located in Mooresville about 30 minutes north of Charlotte, NC. A sign with big red letters marks the spot: 'homestyle cooking with a touch of Dutch'.

Owner Corine Croxell is a Dutch native and her husband Dennis works for a NASCAR team. The cafe captures the family spirit by featuring orange Dutch flags and NASCAR racing memorabilia. The classic American dining room is decorated with 1950's bar chairs and a black and white tiled floor and the cafe was used to create a TV commercial with Dale Earnhardt Jr., a NASCAR racer.

A touch of Dutch
The frontpage of the menu has a picture of classic Dutch windmill and Dutch items on the menu include bitterballen, kroketten, Dutch pancakes, Dutch apple pie and home-made stroopwafels.

The waitress gave us a friendly warning: "the bitterballen and the kroketten are pretty much the same thing". She was right of course, and it was nice to warn us, but we ordered both anyway. The bitterballen are home-made and delicious. They're filled with chicken, parsley and spices. While their crust was a bit thinner than the mass produced ones in the Netherlands, they had a really nice bite to it. Of special note is the mustard used. Corine's Cafe use exactly the right type of mustard for bitterballen and kroketten -- spicy and not too sweet.

Mrs. Croxell is a hands-on manager and starts her day very early bake and prepare for breakfast. "I always have to train the American cooks on how exactly to prepare a pannenkoek", she said. Her lessons paid off -- the pancake was excellent.

We tried the cheese and bacon version and the structure of the pancake was classical Dutch: fluffy, with a great flavor and a little thinner than the American version. In the Netherlands pancakes are served in many different styles and flavors. While using fried bacon instead of smoked spek is definitely American it works out nicely and this is a true Dutch-American pancake.

Corine's Cafe, Mooresville, NC.Mrs. Croxell worked in a pancake house in the Netherlands. She has worked in restaurants from an early age and in August 2005 she started Corine's Cafe. Through the years she has brought many Dutch items from Holland to North Carolina to decorate the cafe; even the pen-holder at the register is a wooden shoe. Mrs. Croxell grew up in Waterland, a municipality just north of Amsterdam, and in the hallway there are a number of photographs of Marken and Monnickendam.

Corine's Cafe is a casual eatery with 225 seats and Mrs. Croxell said they are frequently full. Breakfast is especially popular. They have a lot of regular guests. The Dutch snacks are popular for lunch, for example the kroketten with French fries. The kroketten are also home-made and except for the size and shape are very similar to the bitterballen, as is the case in the Netherlands.

Dutch desserts
The stroopwafels, made one-by-one by Mrs. Croxell in a small waffle iron, are a real treat. They are different from store bought stroopwafels (a little crispier) and remind of the freshly baked stroopwafels on the markets in the Netherlands.

Finally, the apple pie is as Dutch as it gets -- this is the real thing. For a real 'Dutch treat' we had it heated up with a scoop of whip cream on top.

Corine's Cafe is definitely worth a visit. For a real European experience you could combine a visit with a trip to the Ikea a few miles away.

Corine's Cafe
559 E. Plaza Drive
Mooresville, NC
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Rensselaerswijck Seminar 2009


Last weekend was the 2009 Rensselaerswijck Seminar in Albany, NY. This year the annual Seminar had a two-day program with an opening on Thursday evening with Russell Shorto and speakers on Friday and Saturday.

The seminar took place in New York State Museum's Carole Huxley Theatre. Your correspondent had the opportunity to attend the Saturday session with a diverse group of attendees ranging from professional historians to interested people from all walks of life. According to Charles Wendell PhD, President and Chairman of the New Netherland Institute, the complete registration for the two days of the seminar was 180, one of the best numbers in the history of the event.

The program started at 9.00 A.M. and the friendly atmosphere was set with a birthday recognition of Jippe Hiemstra, chairman of the Institute’s 2009 Committee. In the introductory words Dr. Wendell led a rousing cheer for the Van Voorhees family who organized their 5-yearly event to coincide with the Seminar, followed by recognition of the many attending societies and organizations.

No 'Holland on the Hudson'

The first speaker was Jan Folkerts MA, general manager of the municipality of Littenseradiel in Friesland and a New Netherland researcher.

Until the 1980 most researchers considered the Netherlands to be homogeneous, but in reality there are significant differences culturally, politically and economically between the various regions in the Netherlands. When thinking about the Dutch Republic in the 17th century the province of Holland is often considered to be representative of the whole Republic, since that is where the power center of the country was. However, colonists and farmers mainly came from other provinces as Mr. Folkers convincingly showed using various charts and graphs.

"Whatever New Netherland might have been, it was certainly not 'Holland on the Hudson'".

Charles Gehrling: "We're still finding stuff!"

Charles Gehring, PhD, director of the New Netherlands Project, spoke next. He talked about the origin of the sources that the NNP is translating, and some of the events that impact caused documents to disappear such as a 1674 reorganization of the WIC and a fire in 1911.

About the documents: "Some of them are still out there -- those that weren't boiled up and made into new paper. We're still finding stuff!"

Dr. Gehrling's talk was informative and very entertaining. Mr. van Slichterhorst, the main subject of the talk, had a hard time dealing with the Indians according to a related lawsuit filed in the Netherlands. Negotiating with the Indians was expensive to him personally: large amounts of gifts, food and drinks were provided. "So, this would be an early example of a protection racket". Dr. Gehrling mentioned an interesting project by the Universiteit van Leiden, http://www.brievenalsbuit.nl.

Henry Hoff, the editor of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, spoke about researching family history in New York and New Jersey. His hand-out contains many useful links to genealogy research.

After the break Dr. Starna introduced Dr. James W. Bradley as the recipient of the annual Hendricks Award for his book Before Albany.

Len Tantillo

Len Tantillo showed many of his beautiful works and spoke about the research that went into creating these paintings. He described how archeology and the translated documents work together, for example to show that people in Fort Orange lived a wealthy live, not all that differently from their peers in patria, the Dutch Republic.

To paint canoes Mr. Tantillo did research in Canada on how to make canoes (using elm) and he worked with the Scheepsvaartmuseum in Amsterdam to learn what a Dutch bark looked like.

Martha D. Shattuck PhD, editor for the New Netherland Project, wrapped up the presentations with a talk about Rensselaerswijck.

New Netherland dinner

The evening reception and dinner was in the Hampton Inn and Suites and Indonesian food was provided by Yono's. Appetizers included krupuk with peanut sauce and Indonesian meatballs -- a nice touch for a partially Dutch crowd, since Indonesian food is not common in the United States.

A special Half Moon daalder coin was presented to everyone at the dinner; a great present by Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Chairman of the New Netherland Museum.

William (Chip) Reynolds, Director of New Netherland Museum, spoke about the work done with the Half Moon ship that he is captain of. Technical problems with the projector did not stop him from conveying what kind of preparation and guts it took Henry Hudson to cross the ocean and explore the Hudson river. Dr. C. Carl Pegels, Professor Emeritus, SUNY at Buffalo, NY. received the Alice P. Kenney Memorial Award for his excellent online collection of Dutch-Americans.

After the main event smaller groups stayed until late in the night. In the words of the Dr. Wendell: "We consider the entire event to have been a great success" -- we agree.

Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland


Dutch Utopia.Last weekend the exhibit Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland, 1880-1914 opened for the public in the Telfair Museum of Art in Savannah, GA. With over 70 paintings the exhibition examines the work of forty-three American painters drawn to Holland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:

"Dutch Utopia includes works by artists who remain celebrated today, such as Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, John Twachtman, and John Singer Sargent, along with painters admired in their own time but less well-known now, including accomplished women like Elizabeth Nourse and Anna Stanley, as well as George Hitchcock, Gari Melchers, and Walter MacEwen, who built international reputations with salon pictures of Dutch landscapes and costumed figures. These artists were among hundreds of Americans who traveled to the Netherlands between 1880 and 1914 to paint and to study. Some lived in Holland for decades, while others stayed only a week or two; but most passed quickly through the major cities to small rural communities, where they created picturesque idylls on canvas."

According to GPB.org the exhibit took five years of planning and research and it is the largest collection of paintings by American artists of the Netherlands that has ever been assembled.

In conjunction with Dutch Utopia there is a separate exhibition in the museum on the works of Walter MacEwen, one of the most highly decorated American artists of the late nineteenth century. He is best known for his depictions of rural Dutch life:

"Early in his career, MacEwen had also opened a studio in Hattem – a quiet medieval village in the Dutch province of Gelderland, where he spent his summers. MacEwen’s exposure to the work of seventeenth-century Dutch masters, as well as to the artists of the contemporary Hague School, exerted a considerable impact upon his developing style, and agrarian village life in Hattem inspired dozens of Dutch genre paintings that would come to define MacEwen’s mature career."

Walter MacEwen: An American Expatriate Revisited, which features additional works from Mr. Starke’s collection as well as pieces from other private and public collections and nicely complements works on display in Dutch Utopia.

The exhibition will also travel to the Taft Museum of Art in Cincinnati, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, and the Singer Laren Museum in the Netherlands.

Telfair Museums, Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland, 1880-1914
through January 10, 2010 in Georgia.

400 years Dutch-American ties recognized by Congress


Halve Maen.Senate resolution S.Res.254 we wrote about earlier was officially approved yesterday.

The Hill has an article about the Dutch American relations, specifically around Afghanistan:

"President Barack Obama is weighing a difficult decision to send more American troops to Afghanistan at a time when the Netherlands is preparing to pull its own soldiers from the war-torn country next year. "

The passage of the resolution by the Senate and the corresponding House Resolution (H.Con.Res.178) caps off the 8 month celebration of NY400 events in New York and the Netherlands to mark the shared history and shared values between the United States and the Netherlands.

Vermeer's Milkmaid in the Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Milkmaid.Friday night was a busy night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Many people took the opportunity to see one of the world's most popular paintings, the Milkmaid (De Melkmeid) by Johannes Vermeer. Dutch in America visited the exhibition around of this work that was loaned to the Metropolitan Museum by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam in honor of the NY400 celebrations.

The exhibition begin with copies of the 36 known Vermeer paintings, five of which are in the permanent collection of the Met. The next rooms in the small gallery show the six Vermeers along with other paintings from that era. The exhibition is curated by Walter Liedtke, an Vermeer expert and accompanying the show is a 36-page catalogue by Liedtke that takes an original look at this beautiful painting.

It's rare to see so many Vermeers close by each other: 9 in the same city (The Frick Collection, a few blocks up the street, also houses 3 Vermeers). Today NLNY had an interview with the Dutch Consul General Gajus Scheltema in New York, and it mentions that the exhibition is drawing about 6,000 visitors per day.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid
through November 29, 2009

Last weekend: Amsterdam/New Amsterdam -- The Worlds of Henry Hudson


Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry HudsonThis is the last weekend of the exhibition Amsterdam/New Amsterdam -- the Worlds of Henry Hudson. A visit yesterday showed that this popular exhibition is drawing an interested audience even after 6 months of display.

This is a beautiful exhibition about Amsterdam and the first settlements in Manhattan and surroundings in what was called at the time New Netherland. The Museum of the City of New York has a wealth of original documents, artifacts and paintings on display that provide a glimpse of life in New Netherland and the Netherlands at that time.

Among the documents on display is the Treaty of Breda from 1667 from the National Library of the Netherlands. It is the formal end of the war between the English and the Dutch, and it was made under conditions of uti possidetis, "as you posses". This meant that New Amsterdam would stay in English hands and the Dutch would keep Suriname.

A painting by Jan van Goyen, The Hague from the North-East, was among the original paintings on loan from the Netherlands. Paintings of New Netherland from that time are not available, but recent historically accurate works by Len Tantillo such as Hanover Square, Manhattan give a good view of how the city looked like. The National Library of the Netherlands provided an original copy of A Description of New Netherland by Adriaen van der Donck.

Most of the knowledge we have from that time comes from written documents: "What we know about leisure activities and children's games in New Amsterdam comes from ordinances outlawing them on Sundays".

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the New Netherland Project in Albany and Scheepvaartsmuseum in Amsterdam. The Scheepvaartsmuseum is the Dutch national Maritime Museum. Its building in Amsterdam is undergoing extensive renovations and the museum has been closed for a number of years.

For more information see also the reviewin the New York Times.

The Museum of the City of New York, Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: the Worlds of Henry Hudson
through September 27, 2009

Exhibition Westfries Museum: Hollanders aan de Hudson


The celebrations of the Hudson 400 year are not limited to this side of the Atlantic -- there are also many events and museum exhibitions in the Netherlands. One of the highlights is an exhibition in the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, Hollanders aan de Hudson, of works of Len Tantillo.

Fort Orange.Mr. Tantillo (Poughkeepsie, 1947) is an artist and historian with a passion for the Hudson River region. An architect by training, he has recreated many historical views of New York, Albany and other places through beautiful paintings and drawings. The Westfries Museum has nearly 60 of his works on display in the exhibition about 'the Dutch at the Hudson'.

The Westfries Museum is a museum for regional history in Hoorn, a city with an extensive history. Hoorn was one of the cities that operated the Dutch East India Company ("VOC"), the trading company that commissioned Henry Hudson to find an easterly passage to Asia. The museum has an extensive collection paintings and objects, including many of the VOC.

The exhibition opened September 5th with Mr. Tantillo and his wife Corliss in attendance. The American Consular General to the Netherlands, Julie Ruterbories, was representing the American Embassy (the new American Ambassador Hartor Levin was in New York to attend the Americans and Dutch will appreciate Manhattan, 1660, a gorgeous reproduction of the 'skyline' of Manhattan 350 years ago. It's interesting to compare this work with the drawing by Johannes Vingboons, made in 1656 with the view of the island Manhattan from the sea which is currently on display in the South Point museum.

The excellent brochure of the museum describes the effort Mr. Tantillo put into creating a realistic sky-line for Manhattan, 1660. "Creating an historic painting from colonial times, without the help of photographic material and using only a few, usually primitive sketches, is a formidable challenge. It takes a lot of time and intensive research. An important source for this painting is the birds-eye map by Jacques Cortelyou which was made around 1660. This map, the 'Castello map', is on display in Florence, Italy". Mr. Tantillo goes on to explain the research he did to verify the accuracy of the map, and what it takes to translate a map into a skyline, using another map from 1890 and even digital models.

Most of the around 60 paintings in the exhibitions are in private hand; a number of them are on loan from the artist himself. One of the paintings in the exhibition, A View of Fort Orange, is on loan from the Fort Orange Club from Albany, NY. Members of the club were making a tour through the Netherlands and were in attendance of the opening of the exhibition.

The Westfries Museum does not own works by Mr. Tantillo yet but according to Ad Geerdink, director of the museum, there are plans for Mr. Tantillo to create a painting with the city of Hoorn in the late Middle Ages as theme.

No word yet if this exhibition will be displayed in the United States. For those of you in the New York area it is worth a visit to the New York State Museum where the 1609 exhibition displays paintings by Mr. Tantillo through March 7, 2010. On October 3rd, 2009 Mr. Tantillo will speak at the Rensselaerswijck Seminar in Albany, NY. His work can also been seen in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

West Fries Museum, Holland aan de Hudson
through November 29, 2009

IRS Extends Deadline to Declare Foreign Accounts


IRS.govThe Internal Revenue Service today announced a one-time extension of the deadline for special voluntary disclosures by taxpayers with unreported income from hidden offshore (foreign) accounts. These taxpayers now have until Oct. 15, 2009.

This is important for those with bank accounts in the Netherlands or elsewhere. US law states that all US persons (citizens, green card holders, visa holders) must pay tax on their worldwide income. In addition to reporting the interest income earned to the IRS, tax payers are required to file form TD F 90-22.1 if the total balance of foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the year. In many cases there is tax credit for tax paid on earned interest in a foreign country.

According to the WSJ today: 'most of those accepted into the IRS's disclosure program will owe back taxes, interest and a special penalty that will work out to 40% to 60% of the account balance, plus legal and accounting fees, attorneys say. But the agency has said it is unlikely to bring criminal charges against anyone who steps forward'.


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