(by Mitch Kahn & Bob Mueller)
The installation of the second half of the exchange exhibition between sister clubs Arti Et Amicitiae and Salmagundi kicked off with a gala dinner reception at SCNY on Monday, May 14th. With the memberships of both organizations well represented, the event served to further solidify the bond between the two clubs.
This reciprocal exhibition, consisting of 63 paintings by 23 Arti members, is the first showing of works by Dutch artists at SCNY and is in direct response to the exhibition by Salmagundi members in Amsterdam this past October.
Founded in 1839, Arti Et Amicitiae (Art and Friendship) is nearly Salmagundi’s exact counterpart, consisting of artists and lay members “who have love for the arts and enjoy the intercourse with those devoted to their pursuit”.
The “interchange of courtesies” between the organizations can be traced back to October, 1906. In July of that year, during the tercentenary celebration of Rembrandt’s birth, Salmagundi was the only foreign art organization to participate with Arti in a commemoration of the historic event. The festivities were pageant-like with two hundred torchbearers in seventeenth-century costume conducting eighteen delegations, representing Holland’s art organizations, in a parade from the Arti clubhouse to the statue of the great master in the city square. They laid floral wreaths at its base amid bands playing, choral singing and dramatic lighting. Queen Wilhelmina was so moved as to send her personal appreciation to Salmagundi for honoring the master in this fashion.
Following the Queen’s acknowledgment of SCNY in 1906 and establishment of reciprocity between our organizations there was little formal communication between Arti and Salmagundi. In 2009, Leendert Van der Pool, who holds memberships in both clubs, approached the Chairman of Arti, Arie Van den Berg, proposing an exchange of exhibitions. The proposal was then presented to the Board of Salmagundi, resulting in these ground-breaking exhibitions.