From the classroom to the gallery


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Clink. Clink. The collection of kettles, plates, and tea cups pictured in Peter Gerritsz van Roestraten’s painting Still Life with Tea Cups will never make these classic tea-party sounds, but the objects are so accurately portrayed they look as if they might.

This famous still-life painting inspired the University of Iowa Museum of Art, UI art students, and Associate Professor Julie Hochstrasser, who have collaborated on the exhibit Tea Time: Going Dutch. Through the program, students of Hochstrasser’s class Life and Still Life in the Dutch Golden Age: Creating an Exhibition will present works based on Roestraten’s work.

“The students have to produce material that is publicly viewable,” said Art Museum Executive Director Sean O’Harrow. “They’re creating an exhibition that not only will hundreds or thousands of people see but also members of the press.”

The exhibition will begin Saturday and run through Dec. 7 in the IMU Black Box Theater. The students’ exhibitions will help to explain the economic, social, and artistic history behind Roestraten’s art in various ways over the course of the semester.

“The show will evolve over time, and the process is transparent,” said Steven Erickson, a collections-management coordinator who is in charge of putting up the show. “The students will generate text panels and work with the professor and museum staff on selection and display of objects.”

The star of the show is Still Life with Tea Things, a 17th-century painting by Roestraten that deals with objects involved in the tea trade. O’Harrow said visitors be able to see this famous painting, while students have the opportunity to assess art featuring real and unique objects.

“Online imagery is great for exposure as an artist; however, if the viewers really want to experience the art, they must be present in the real,” said Kevin Chamberlain, a collections-management assistant for the Art Museum.

The Tea Time: Going Dutch exhibition will be on display and continually evolve so that audience members can follow the students’ progress and see their work in a raw state.

“We will always involve students in our major projects,” O’Harrow said. “For the students and audience, the exhibition is going to be a fantastic experience.”

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