Artworld
Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Tribute: Walter Liedtke, Curator of Dutch and Flemish painting at the Met


Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, about 1657–58. Oil on canvas; 17 7/8 x 16 1/8 in. (45.5 x 41 cm). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. This painting was the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Met, curated by Walter Liedtke, that drew over 300,000 visitors

Johannes Vermeer, The Milkmaid, about 1657–58. Oil on canvas; 17 7/8 x 16 1/8 in. (45.5 x 41 cm). Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. This painting was the centerpiece of an exhibition at the Met, curated by Walter Liedtke, that drew over 300,000 visitors.

Walter Liedtke, the Curator of Dutch and Flemish Painting at the Metropolitan Museum who was responsible for highly significant exhibitions and scholarship within his field, was killed in yesterday’s Metro-North train crash in Valhalla, New York. I had the honor of meeting Walter several times, at press views of exhibitions at the Met, for instance, and when he lectured at the New York Studio School. He was the quintessence of a gentleman, an impeccably dapper man, and no less warm and generous for it with his time and with his enthusiasm. And he was all one would want from a museum curator, an impassioned scholar, a natural communicator, a responsible but also courageous thinker in his field. Employed at the Met for over 30 years, he was responsible for several ground-breaking shows, including The Age of Rembrandt, reviewed in these pages in 2007 by Drew Lowenstein.

lWalter Ledtke. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

lWalter Ledtke. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art


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