Curators’ View: Tulips in Bloom

Tulips, beloved around the globe, have been passionately celebrated by the Dutch for centuries. In the center of Jan van Huysum’s Vase of Flowers in a Niche is a rare, white-striped hybrid tulip. Hear Christopher Atkins, Van Otterloo-Weatherbie Director of the Center for Netherlandish Art, describe how the strikingly realistic specimens in the painting make up a scene that is completely fictional, a creative arrangement of the artist’s imagination. Atkins also tells a short history of the graceful tulip, including how it was once so highly valued that some rare bulbs sold for as much as a home in Amsterdam.