Obituary: Josua Bruyn (1923-2011)
Josua Bruyn, who passed away on June 10, 2011, is remembered above all as the co-founder, together with Jan van Gelder, Bob Haak, Pieter van Thiel and Simon Levie, of the Rembrandt Research Project. Bruyn’s participation in it is well remembered and impacted our perception of Rembrandt significantly since the inception of the Project in 1968. He brought together a group of art historians to study ALL the paintings of Rembrandt. This was founded upon his realization that verification of authorship on the basis of visual evidence could be achieved only if those who participated were familiar with the same works of art and with all the data that was gathered from their investigation.
The first time I visited the Institute of Fine Arts at Utrecht University, the door was opened by a student who was a year older than me and whom I did not know: Joos Bruyn. He went on to become Rector of Amsterdam University and a dominant scholar known for his ability to organize complex scholarly undertakings as well as to initiate valuable projects in the museum world. Joos was undoubtedly a leader among the post-war generation of Dutch art historians. He participated in so many aspects of the fi eld that he was always visible: he was a university professor and one of the most active members of many professional organizations, among them the Vereniging Rembrandt and the Prins Bernhard Fonds.
The field owes a great debt to Joos Bruyn and his contributions will long be remembered.
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University