Rembrandt Etching Discovered in a University Bathroom

WASHINGTON D.C. — A fun part of collecting artwork from Park West Gallery (from anywhere really) is deciding where the piece should hang to best fit in with your decor. Art is created to be seen, displayed and enjoyed each and every day; not to be tucked away, lost or forgotten. So how did an original Rembrandt etching find its way into a bathroom cabinet at The Catholic University of America (CUA) and then for years remain hidden there, obscured from public view?

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Catholic University of America

This etching by 17th century Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn was discovered in a bathroom in Nugent Hall at The Catholic University of America. [Credit: AP Photo/The Catholic University of America, Ed Pfuellera]

“I went into the restroom in Nugent Hall and opened a cabinet there,” explained CUA’s president Rev. David O’Connell, who found the Rembrandt print while searching for paper towels in a university bathroom. “I found the paper towels but as I was closing the cabinet door, I noticed on the bottom shelf under some junk, a picture frame jutting out. I bent down, pulled out the frame only to discover an etching that looked familiar to me. Why it was there or how it got there, I’ll never know.”

The small  4.5″x5″ etching of a bearded old man contains a handwritten inscription in French on the back of the work which reads: “The bust of an old man with a great beard seen about most of the face. His head a little perched gives him the attitude of a man who sleeps.”

CUA archivist Leslie Knoblauch says an appraiser has confirmed the authenticity of the Rembrandt, which is currently the centerpiece of a new exhibit at the university. “We saw his name twice on the piece, but we still couldn’t believe that’s what this was,” Knoblauch told The Washington Post. “Who finds a Rembrandt randomly in their home?”

Fine Lines: Discovering Rembrandt and Other Old Masters at Catholic University is on view through May 21, 2010 and features several other drawings, etchings, engravings and woodcut prints by American and European artists.

To learn more about the exhibit, please visit www.cua.edu


Related Links:

2 Responses to Rembrandt Etching Discovered in a University Bathroom

  1. […] says curator Lee Hendrix, “is putting your thoughts on paper. It was an end in itself. For Rembrandt, drawing was a way to work through subjects. I mean, he was one of the greatest dramatic artists […]

Leave a comment

Prove you\'re human. *

Latest News

  • New Michael Godard Sale Features More Than 30 Unique Works

    As the “Rock Star of the Art World,” Michael Godard borrows a page from his musical counterparts by searching for new and innovative ways to express himself.“I’ve always admired ...
    Read More
  • Saving Lady Liberty: How Peter Max Helped Restore the Statue of Liberty

    Iconic Pop artist Peter Max has several recurring images that he’s returned to throughout his prolific career, but perhaps none are more famous than the Statue of Liberty. Max ...
    Read More
  • 5 Years Ago, Peter Max Transformed a Cruise Ship Into a Work of...

    In 2013, artist Peter Max watched a cruise ship pull into a New York City harbor.It was a big day. The ship—Norwegian Breakaway—was one of the largest cruise ...
    Read More
  • Watch Alexandre Renoir Evoke ‘Moments of Bliss’ at His Monthaven Arts Exhibition

    As the great-grandson of famous French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alexandre Renoir is carrying on his ancestor’s mission of bringing beauty into the lives of others through art.It’s what Alexandre ...
    Read More
  • VIDEO: How Anatole Krasnyansky’s Art Peers Behind Humanity’s Masks

      There aren’t many artists ...
    Read More
  • Auctioneer Spotlight: Mark Muller and Natasha Moore

    Many Park West collectors develop lasting friendships with our auctioneers and art teams, underscoring our 50-year reputation of connecting people from all walks of life with artwork they love.Here’s a ...
    Read More
  • Don’t Miss These 4 Memorable Works from Our 2018 Summer Sale

    With more than 500 works of art available during Park West’s 2018 Summer Sale, it might seem hard to choose a favorite.It’s understandable—for art lovers, picking a favorite artwork or ...
    Read More
  • Peter Max and The Beatles: Friends, Artists, Icons of the 1960s

    Two of the biggest cultural innovators of the 1960s were artist Peter Max and the legendary rock group The Beatles. But did you know that Max was actually close ...
    Read More
  • Collect the Art of Peter Max During Our Limited-Time Summer Sale

    Peter Max is one of the most iconic living artists today, thanks to his bold color palette, masterful brushstrokes, and cosmic imagery. Now, you can become a part of ...
    Read More
  • Park West Donation Benefits Delaware Military Personnel

    The freedom of speech and expression are critical components to art, which are just a few of the reasons Park West Gallery is proud to support those who fight to ...
    Read More
  • Pat McManus: Painting the Softer Side of Nature

    Artist Pat McManus jokes that he paints wildlife instead of people for one reason: They’re not picky.“I’ve tried painting people—you have to be very accurate with people,” McManus says ...
    Read More
  • How Wyland Became One of the World’s Biggest Marine Wildlife Artists

    As an artist, Wyland is used to working on big canvases.He first rose to fame in the 1980s painting life-size murals of whales—that’s right, life-size whales—on the sides of ...
    Read More