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Hulst, Roger-Adolf, d'

Date born: December 20, 1917

Place born: Ghent, Belgium

Date died: February 15, 1996

Place died: Brussels, Belgium

Rubens and Jordaens scholar; co-founder and chair of the Nationaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten van de 16de en 17de Eeuw. D’Hulst was the son of an engineer, Henri-Omer d’Hulst, and Suzanna van den Bosch. After graduation from high school at the Ghent Koninklijk Atheneum, he earned in 1941 a degree in civil engineering and architecture at Ghent University. In that same year he was appointed engineer-architect to the Belgian Ministry of Works. In 1942 he received the degree of licentiaat in economic and social sciences. In addition, while working at the Ministry, he studied art history at the Hoger Instituut voor Kunstgschiedenis en Oudheidkunde at Ghent University. He earned his M.A. in 1948 and subsequently left the Ministry of Works and joined the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique/Koninklijke Musea voor Schone Kunsten in Brussels, where he had been appointed deputy curator in 1949. In that year D’Hulst married Paula Picqué. He founded the Bulletin des Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, which he edited from 1952 to 1963. Beginning in 1951 he participated in the newly established "Belgian Art Seminar," under which title the Belgian American Educational Foundation offered summer courses (1951-1956), which were coordinated by the librarian of the Royal Library of Belgium, Herman Liebaers (1919-2010). The 1954 Seminar was conducted by Erwin Panofsky. D’Hulst oversaw the publication of the proceedings in the Bulletin as "Miscellanea Erwin Panofsky." In that year D’Hulst spent four months in the United States as an advanced research fellow. In several American museums he organized a loan exhibition from the Jean de Grez (1837-1910) collection, kept in the Brussels museum, An Exhibition of Drawings and Watercolors by Flemish and Dutch Masters. In 1955 D’Hulst obtained his doctoral degree from Ghent University, under the supervision of Domien Roggen (q.v.). His dissertation on the drawings of Jacob Jordaens, De Tekeningen van Jakob Jordaens, was awarded a prize, in 1954, by the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België. It was subsequently published by that institution in 1956. The 1955 Belgian Art Seminar was on Rubens, conducted by Ludwig Burchard at the Rubenshuis in Antwerp under the direction of Frans Baudouin. The following year (1956) Burchard again conducted a Rubens seminar, which at the same time offered the occasion for the celebration of Burchard’s 70th birthday. In connection with the seminar the 1956 exhibition on Rubens drawings was held in the Rubenshuis. D’Hulst and Burchard co-authored the impressive catalog, Tekeningen van P. P. Rubens. The two scholars also wrote a critical description of about 200 drawings by Rubens, published as Rubens Drawings (1963). In addition to his work at the Brussels museum, D’Hulst began teaching, in 1957, Netherlandish art at the Hoger Instituut voor Kunstgeschiedenis en Oudheidkunde at Ghent University, as the successor of Roggen. In the Brussels museum he was appointed curator (1958-1961). In 1959 he obtained an additional teaching position of architectural history at the Faculty of Engineering, also at Ghent University. In that year, 1959, D’Hulst took the important initiative to found the Nationaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten van de 16de en de 17de Eeuw. After the death of Burchard, in 1960, Baudouin and D’Hulst were able to purchase the Rubens documentation of Burchard for the City of Antwerp. This resulted in the creation in Antwerp of a documentation center for the study of Rubens and for sixteenth- and seventeenth- century Flemish art, the Rubenianum. The project of the publication of the critical catalog of the complete oeuvre of Rubens, the Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard, was to be administered by the Nationaal Centrum, which was chaired by D'Hulst, who also assumed the editorship of the publication. He attracted other scholars to the Corpus Rubenianum project including Svetlana Alpers. In 1960 D’Hulst coauthored, with Horst Vey (q.v.), the catalog of the Van Dyck exhibition, Antoon van Dyck, tekeningen en olieverfschetsen, held in Antwerp (Rubenshuis) and Rotterdam (Museum Boymans-van Beuningen). In the same year D’Hulst provided the description of 34 tapestries for the publication Vlaamse Wandtapijten, introduced by Jozef Duverger (q.v.). In 1961 D’Hulst obtained the position of professor of art history at Ghent University. In New York he attended the 1961 International Conference of Art History. In 1966 he was actively involved in the retrospective exhibition of drawings by Jordaens, held in Antwerp (Rubenshuis) and Rotterdam (Museum Boymans-van Beuningen). He became a member of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie  voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten van België in 1969. With Baudouin he co-authored the 1971 Rubenshuis catalog, Rubens en zijn tijd. In collaboration with Carlos van Hasselt (1929-2009), the director of the Paris Fondation Custodia, he organized the 1972 international exhibition of drawings from the collection Frits Lugt (q.v.), Vlaamse tekeningen uit de zeventiende eeuw. His major four-volume work, Jordaens Drawings appeared in 1974. In 1977 D’Hulst was involved in the Rubens exhibition in the Antwerp Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, commemorating the 400th birthday of the master. He edited the catalog and chaired the 1977 International Rubens Colloquium, held in Antwerp. The 1978 exhibition on Jordaens drawings at the Antwerp Museum Plantin-Moretus led to the creation of another catalog, Jacob Jordaens, tekeningen en grafiek. In 1978 an international advisory committee was established for the restoration of Rubens’ triptych “The Raising of the Cross” (Antwerp Cathedral of Our Lady). D’Hulst, who was an expert in the field of the restoration of paintings, served as its chair. In 1979 he was elected a member of the sister institution of the Belgian Academy in The Netherlands, the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. His 1982 monograph on the life and works of Jordaens, Jacob Jordaens, was published simultaneously in Dutch, French, English and German. D’Hulst retired as professor from Ghent University in 1985. By that time, the Nationaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten van de 16de en de 17de Eeuw existed 25 years. His friends, colleagues, and former students honored him with the volume, Rubens and his World. He used his retirement years to contribute a volume to the Corpus Rubenianum, in co-authership with M. Vandenven, Rubens: the Old Testament, published in 1989. His 1992 essay on the life and works of Rubens, “Elk volgens zijn begaafdheid”, appeared in the volume, De Kruisoprichting van Pieter Paul Rubens, which celebrated and documented the restoration of Rubens’ “Raising of the Cross”, began in 1978. In 1993 he contributed to the two-volume catalog of the retrospective Jordaens exhibition, held in the Antwerp Museum voor Schone Kunsten to commemorate the 400th birthday of the master. In 1995 D’Hulst quit the directorship of the Nationaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten van de 16de en de 17de Eeuw. He died a year later, in 1996. LS/MD

Home Country: Belgium

Sources: Baudouin, Frans. "Woord vooraf/Preface." Rubens and his World: Bijdragen – Études – Studies – Beiträge. Opgedragen aan Prof. Dr. Ir. R.-A. d’Hulst  naar aanleiding van het vijfentwintigjarig bestaan van het Natioinaal Centrum voor de Plastische Kunsten van de 16de en de 17de Eeuw. Antwerp: Het Gulden Cabinet, 1985, pp. ix-xvii; Baudouin, Frans. "Hulst, Roger-Adolf d‘ " Nationaal Biografisch Woordenboek 16. Brussel: Paleis der Academiën, 2002, pp. 458-465; [obituaries:] "Roger-A. d’Hulst, Rubens Expert, 77" New York Times  (24 February 1996); Bruyn, J. "Levensbericht R. A. d‘Hulst" in Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie voor Wetenschappen. Levensberichten en herdenkingen. Amsterdam, 1997, pp.15-18; Baudouin, Frans. "In Memoriam R.-A. d’Hulst." in Jaarboek 2000. Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten. Brussel, 2001, pp. 113-117.

Bibliography: [complete list:] Vander Auwera, Joost. "Bibliografie R.-A. d’Hulst" Rubens and his World. Antwerp: Het Gulden Cabinet, 1985, pp xix-xxviii; [dissertation:]  De tekeningen van Jakob Jordaens: bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van de XVIIe-eeuwse kunst in de Zuidelijke Nederlanden. Ghent University, published, Brussels: Academie voor Wetenschappen, Letteren en Schone Kunsten, Paleis der Academiën, 1956; Drawings and Watercolors by Flemish and Dutch Masters. Washington, Cambridge, Baltimore, Cleveland, San Francisco, New York, 1954; and Burchard, Ludwig. Tekeningen van P. P. Rubens. Antwerp: Uitgeverij ontwikkeling, 1956; and Burchard, Ludwig. Rubens Drawings. Brussels: Arcade Press, 1963; and Vey, Horst. Antoon Van Dyck, tekeningen en olieverfschetsen. Deurne-Antwerp: Rubenshuis/C. Govaerts, 1960; and Liebaers, Herman and Duverger, Jozef. Vlaamse wandtapijten van de XIVe tot de XVIIIe eeuw. Brussels: Arcade, 1960, English: Flemish Tapestries, from the Fifteenth to the Eighteenth Century. New York: Universe Books, 1967; Tekeningen van Jacob Jordaens. 1593-1678. Antwerp: Rubenshuis, 1966; The Royal Museum, Brussels. London, Oldbourne Press, 1966; and Baudouin, Frans. Rubens en zijn tijd. Tekeningen uit Belgische verzamelingen. Antwerp: Rubenshuis, 1971; Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth Century from the Collection of Frits Lugt, Institut néerlandais, Paris. Paris: Institut néerlandais, 1972; Jordaens Drawings. 4 vols. New York: Phaidon Press, 1974; Jacob Jordaens, tekeningen en grafiek: catalogus. Antwerp: Museum Plantin-Moretus, 1978; Jacob Jordaens. Antwerp: Mercatorfonds, 1982, English: Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1982; and Vandenven, M. Rubens: the Old Testament. Corpus Rubenianum Ludwig Burchard 3. London: Harvey Miller, 1989; “Elk volgens zijn begaafdheid” in D’Hulst and others, (Buyle, Marie-Anne ed) De Kruisoprichting van Pieter Paul Rubens. Brussels: Ministerie van de Vlaamse Gemeenschap. Bestuur Monumenten en Landschappen. Roularta Books, 1992, pp. 23-41; and De Poorter, N. and Vandenven, M. Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678). 1. Schilderijen en wandtapijten, 2. Tekeningen en prenten. Antwerp, 1993.

Subject's name: Roger d'Hulst