Conversation recorded in front of the painting, on december 12th, 2008, at Cordover’s House in New York.
A mysterious masterpiece. The world of Linder Gallery
edited by Michael John Gorman
Mandragora, Florence 2009
Conversation recorded on 12 December 2008
in a private residence in NewYork in the presence of the original painting.
JAMES M. BRADBURNE is a British-Canadian architect, designer and museum specialist who has designedWorld’s Fair pavilions, science centres, and international art exhibitions. Educated in Canada and England, he developed numerous exhibitions, research projects and symposia for UNESCO, national governments, private foundations and museums worldwide during the course of the past fifteen years. He is currently Director General of the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation,which is responsible for Florence’s largest temporary exhibition space, the Palazzo Strozzi.
RONALD H. CORDOVER is an entrepreneur and financial executive. He is presently Chairman and CEO of theRobert Allen Group, the leading US designer and marketer of decorative fabrics and furnishings to the interior design trade. He is an MIT educated scientist with a PhD in laser physics/electrical engineering. He and his wife
Barbara are also art collectors with broad interests including seventeenth-century Flemish art.
MICHAEL JOHN GORMAN is the Founding Director of the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, and has worked extensively in Europe and the US on developing and curating exhibitions and festivals connecting science and art. He is the author of several books including Buckminster Fuller: Designing for Mobility (2005). He has been investigating the history of the Linder Gallery since 1998 and has written, with Alexander Marr, the first critical study of the painting,‘”Others see it yet otherwise”: disegno and pictura in a Flemish gallery interior’, The Burlington Magazine, no. 1247, 149 (February 2007), 85-91.
GORMAN: Well, here we are — sitting in front of a painting that was designed almost four hundred years ago as a puzzle. A painting designed to provoke a certain kind of conversation and a certain kind of deciphering. And it’s a remarkable painting. It depicts the interior of a picture gallery with a collection of paintings and an assortment of different kinds of sculpture, and also a very impressive selection of astronomical and mathematical instruments, a series of drawings and portrait medals, as well as a pair of figures who occupy a really important place in the foreground — an old man with a young woman reclining on his lap. Ron, what was it about this anonymous and previously unknown painting that drew you to it as a collector?