A Fortnight of Rembrandt

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A Fortnight of Rembrandt


Thanks to the generosity of philanthropists Drs. Tobia and Morton Mower of Baltimore, a unique, 60+ private collection of original etchings by the 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn will grace the lower gallery at the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts during a special two-week exhibit that is free and open to the public.


Sponsored by FSU’s Office of the Vice-President for Research, “A Fortnight of Rembrandt: Selected Etchings from the Mower Collection” opens to the public Friday, Sept. 20, and will be on display through Sunday, Oct. 6.

About the Collectors


The Mowers—Morton and Tobia—have generously loaned works from their collection to a number of universities. Morton takes a keen interest in historic as well as contemporary art, drawing parallels between periods of art history:

“For me collecting these etchings has been a unique opportunity to demystify some of the techniques of art and gain insight into those times. I’ve long been fascinated with modes of multiple reproductions—silkscreen, lithography, engraving. Etching was the photography of Rembrandt’s day, and he gives us a window into both the everyday life and cosmopolitan themes that captured his imagination.”

– Dr. Morton Mower



tobia mowerTobia Mower

Dr. Tobia Mower has an RN from Sinai Hospital of Baltimore School of Nursing, a BS in Nursing from The Johns Hopkins University, and an MS in Psychology from Loyola College of Baltimore. She was honored with a PhD (Honoris Causa) from The Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel for her work in addiction therapy.

As a philanthropist, she is heavily involved, along with her husband, in a number of charitable concerns. She presently is serving on the Board of Governors at Ben Gurion University, is a National Board member and Baltimore and Denver Board member of the Jewish National Fund, and a Brandeis Honoree of the Baltimore Zionist District of Baltimore. She was Vice President, and Woman of Distinction Honoree of the Baltimore Chapter of Hadassah and is currently a Board member, and is also a Board member of the American Technion Society, Baltimore affiliate. She has also served as past-President of the Sinai Hospital Nurses Alumnae Association and was the founder of Tova House, a long term sober women’s living facility in Baltimore. Last year she was honored by Lilith Magazine. She and her husband of 48 years are avid skiers, golfers, and collectors of fine art, especially of the Impressionists.



morton mowerMorton Mower

Dr. Morton Mower has served as Chief of Cardiology at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Vice President of Medical Sciences at Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. of St. Paul, Minnesota, and Chairman and Chief Science Officer of MR3 Medical LLC. He is Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, DC, and Associate Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.

Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy was invented by Dr. Mower, and he was a close collaborator in the development of the implantable defibrillator. He was honored with the Space Technology Hall of Fame Recognition Award, the Michel Mirowski Award of Excellence in the Field of Clinical Cardiology and Electrophysiology, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio. He now continues research work in defibrillators and new uses for artificial pacemakers, is Chairman of the Parsons Water Fund of the Jewish National Fund, and he and his wife are avid collectors of fine art. Dr. Mower says the real reason for collecting Rembrandts was that he always wanted to be able to say “Why don’t you come up and see my etchings sometime?”

About Rembrandt


Rembrandt was born in Leiden on July 15, 1606—his full name Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. He was the son of a miller. Despite the fact that he came from a family of relatively modest means, his parents took great care with his education. Rembrandt began his studies at the Latin School, and at the age of 14 he was enrolled at the University of Leiden. The program did not interest him, and he soon left to study art—first with a local master, Jacob van Swanenburch, and then, in Amsterdam, with Pieter Lastman, known for his historical paintings. After six months, having mastered everything he had been taught, Rembrandt returned to Leiden, where he was so highly regarded that although barely 22 years old, he took his first pupils.


Rembrandt is generally considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art and the most important in Dutch history. Because of his empathy for the human condition, he has been called “one of the great prophets of civilization.”



About the Event Sponsor


The Office of the Vice-President for Research (OVPR) is proud to sponsor the Mower Collection’s special visit to Florida State University’s Museum of Fine Arts.


The presence of these selected etchings complements a top-tier research university full of uniquely talented artists, scholars and researchers, and is representative of the OVPR’s commitment to supporting the act of discovery at Florida State, and the many unique ways in which it can occur.


Whether it is in a studio, on a stage or in a laboratory, discovery is about having an idea and getting the freedom and support to explore that idea. The OVPR strives to continually provide that support so that faculty members, students, staff and other university stakeholders have the freedom to push the limits of knowledge and expression, and apply their work in ways that benefit society.


With more than 50 research centers and institutes calling Florida State home, and approximately $200 million in research expenditures each year, the OVPR’s support efforts span a multitude of disciplines and subject areas. As the University continues to expand its capabilities and expertise in the years and decades ahead, the OVPR looks forward to helping discovery find root anywhere and everywhere possible.


To learn more, visit www.research.fsu.edu.

Examples of Selected Etchings


The Pancake Woman

The Pancake Woman

Playful genre scenes exhibit Rembrandt’s interest in realistic documentation and individual expression. The facial expressions in this composition were derived from earlier studies sketched by the artist. At the bottom of the composition a dog chases after a child’s pancake. The pancake vendor seems indifferent to the chaos.

Abraham's Sacrifice

Abraham’s Sacrifice

A divine messenger intervenes in the moment before Abraham sacrifices his son Isaac. This composition adheres closely to the Old Testament text (Genesis 22:13). The messenger’s embrace unifies the angel, Abraham, and Isaac into a single sculptural unit. Abraham’s jaw drops open in his surprise. The servants in the lowerright of the composition appear ignorant of the action occurring above them.

Self Portrait with Cap and Scarf

Self Portrait with Cap and Scarf

This etching exemplifies Rembrandt’s penchant for self-portraiture in his early career. In these small, sketchy works, the artist records singular instances of human emotion by performing various faces in front of a mirror and then rendering them by hand. These studies become crucial to Rembrandt’s later works in which he strives for a kind of documentary truth.

The Windmill

The Windmill

The windmill pictured is the so-called Little Stink Mill on Amsterdam’s west side. The windmill took its nickname from the tanning processes of the Leathermakers Guild, who owned the property. The location is rendered with such detail that some scholars believe Rembrandt began this etching on site and then finished it in the studio.

Exhibit Hours of Operation


The exhibit will be open and available for public viewing from Sept. 20th, 2013, through Oct. 6th, 2013.  Public viewing hours during this time period will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursdays; 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.


Admission is free.


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