Background of the Millennium Impression Copper Plates
In 1993 the estate of Dr. Robert Lee Humber sold the 78 original Rembrandt copper plates that had been owned by Dr. Humber. The sale took place in London and was arranged thorough Artemis International. Within two months almost all were sold to a large number of private collectors, dealers and museums including six Dutch museums, and the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.
The plates are currently on loan to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Dr. Humber had acquired the plates in 1938 from Alvin Beaumont who had last printed a “recueil,” or “collection” of etchings from the plates in 1906. Beaumont preserved the plates in frames, and placed them on loan to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and attempted to negotiate a sale to the museum. Failing to do so, he finally sold them to Humber. Humber died in 1970 and his estate decided after some 23 years to sell the collection of original Rembrandt copper plates; a very historic event indeed.
Eight of the plates from the Humber collection were sold in 1993 by Artemis International of London to Robert Light a noted Rembrandt expert and art dealer in New York. In 1994 Robert Light sold the plates to Howard Berger, who was to form Millennium Impressions. In 2003 Park West Gallery purchased Millennium Impressions and the plates.
At the inception of the work by Emiliano Sorini and Marjorie Van Dyke, the plates were placed in a bank vault in New York under the supervision and control of Sorini and Van Dyke. The plates were only removed from the vault during the time periods of printing, and were immediately returned after each printing session. The printing process took 10 years and Marjorie Van Dyke has certified that only 2500 impressions were printed from each plate.
Park West Gallery certifies that upon taking possession of the plates they were inspected by Erik Hinterding, expert and author of The History of Rembrandt's Copperplates, who certified that they were in the same condition as when sold to Dr. Berger. Park West further certifies that since the time it has owned the plates, only Marjorie Van Dyke has printed them.
Millennium Impressions: Over a ten year period Emiliano Sorini and Majorie Van Dyke created the limited editions of 2,500 etchings from each of the plates.
For more information on the history and lineage of owners of Rembrandt’s etching plates see Provenance of Rembrandt’s Copper Etching Plates.