Ronni Baer

Allen R. Adler, Class of 1967, Distinguished Curator and Lecturer
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Ronni Baer specializes in European art of the 17th century. She worked in curatorial departments at major museums in New York and Atlanta before joining the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she served as Senior Curator of European Paintings for almost twenty years. There, she spearheaded numerous exhibitions, gallery installations, and old master paintings acquisitions, including the promised gift of 113 Dutch and Flemish paintings from the collections of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and Susan and Matt Weatherbie.

Baer has lectured extensively, both nationally and internationally, and published numerous articles on the history of collecting Dutch, Flemish, and Spanish art. She is an acknowledged expert on the paintings of Gerrit Dou (1613–1675), about whom she wrote her dissertation. She was the curator of, among other exhibitions, Gerrit Dou, Rembrandt’s First Pupil (Washington, The Hague, London 2000); and, in Boston, The Poetry of Everyday Life: Dutch Painting in Boston (2002); Rembrandt's Journey: Painter • Draftsman • Etcher (with Cliff Ackley) (2004); El Greco to Velázquez: Art During the Reign of Philip III (with Sarah Schroth) (2008); and Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer (2016).

For her work in furthering knowledge and appreciation of their art and culture, Baer was knighted by King Juan Carlos of Spain in 2008 and by King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in 2017. She was named the Institute of Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumna and Commencement Speaker of 2018 and served on the Board of Advisors of the Center for the Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in 2018-2019.

Teaching Interests

Baer is committed to teaching from the object, exploring all aspects of the work of art from its physical condition and painterly execution to its various levels of meaning to what it might reveal about the society that created it.


Ph.D., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2000

Selected Publications

"A Painter's Painter: El Greco and Boston," in El Greco Comes to America: The Discovery of a Modern Old Master, eds. Inge Reist and José Luis Colomer, New York, The Frick Collection in association with Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica, Madrid and Center for Spain in America, New York, 2017

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2015

“Collecting Dutch Paintings in Boston,” in Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, ed. Esmée Quodbach, Penn State University Press, University Park and The Frick Collection, New York, 2014

Dou and the Delft Connection,” in Face Book: Studies on Dutch Portraiture of the 16th-18th Centuries. Liber Amicorum for Rudi Ekkart, Primavera Pers/RKD, Leiden/The Hague, 2012

“Of Cats and Dogs: Domestic Pets in Rembrandt and Dou,” in Een Kroniek voor Jeroen Giltaij/Kroniek van het Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam, September 2012

“A Conversation with Ori Gersht,” in Ori Gersht: History Repeating, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 2012

“Dou’s Nudes,” in Aemulatio: Essays in Honour of Eric Jan Sluijter, Wanders, Zwolle, 2011

El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2008

“A Dou for Boston,” in Collected Opinions: Essays on Netherlandish Art in Honour of Alfred Bader, Paul Holberton, London, 2004

“Rembrandt’s Oil Sketches,” in Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter • Draftsman • Etcher, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2003

Gerrit Dou (1613–1675): Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 2000

So Many Brilliant Talents: Art & Craft in the Age of Rubens, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Atlanta, 1999

17th-Century European Art
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