Past Exhibitions

Fuseli to Menzel: Drawings and Watercolors in the Age of Goethe

June 23, 1998 to September 6, 1998

The age of Goethe, Beethoven, and Kant was also a brilliant period for the visual arts in Germany. This exhibition — culled from the holdings of the Winterstein family of Munich, the world's most comprehensive and important private collection of German drawings and watercolors of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries — afforded viewers an opportunity to study fine works by forty-nine artists from the greatest period of German drawing.

Robert Adam — The Creative Mind: From the Sketch to the Finished Drawing

December 16, 1997 to April 5, 1998

Sixty-six drawings and watercolors by the renowned eighteenth-century architect Robert Adam, his brother and partner James, and artists employed in their office were on view at The Frick Collection from December 16, 1997, through April 5, 1998. The works were selected from the 9,000 Adam drawings acquired by Sir John Soane in 1833, virtually all of the surviving sheets that were kept by Robert and James Adam themselves.

 painting of pastoral scene with idealized shepherds from classical antiquity clustering around an austere tomb

From the Louvre to The Frick Collection: Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds

October 25, 1997 to January 25, 1998

With extraordinary generosity, the Musée du Louvre loaned one of the most celebrated icons of French art: Nicolas Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds. This image of four shepherds solemnly meditating over the inscription they have discovered on a tomb — Et in Arcadia Ego (“Even in Arcadia [there] am I”) — has come to be regarded as the quintessence of the art of Poussin (1594-1665). It has been copied, imitated, and evoked by numerous artists, and discussed by connoisseurs, historians, and writers since it was acquired by Louis XIV for the French royal collections in 1685.

Painting of woman with parasol walking in courtyard

The Spirit of the Place: Selections from the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

September 17, 1997 to November 30, 1997

An exhibition of fourteen paintings and four sculptures from the collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. French, Italian, British, German, Spanish, and American artists were represented in works that ranged from scenes by the Italian vedutisti of the eighteenth-century to masterpieces by French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters.

Exhibition catalogue cover with blue background and grey text.

Franklin and Condorcet: Two Portraits from the American Philosophical Society

August 26, 1997 to November 16, 1997

An exhibition of two remarkable portraits of famous men lent by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia: an oil on canvas representing Benjamin Franklin painted by Jean-Baptiste Greuze in 1777, and a marble bust of Nicolas de Condorcet executed by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1785. Also on view was a small group of letters, manuscripts, and eighteenth-century publications relating to the history of the two portraits and the relations between the American statesman and the mathematician, philosopher, and revolutionary.

Image of silver medal depicting William III, Prince of Orange

The Proud Republic: Dutch Medals of the Golden Age

May 6, 1997 to July 27, 1997

An exhibition of forty-one medals, a print by Rembrandt, and a spectacular silver-gilt standing cup with cover, dated 1639, by Jan Lutma the Elder, all chosen and catalogued by guest curator Stephen K. Scher.  The exhibition focused on Dutch medals of the seventeenth century, preceded by a sampling of sixteenth-century Italian and Netherlandish examples.  Almost all of the examples are in silver, and most are cast, although large struck medals are equally important and impressive.

Catalogue cover with italian old master drawing as the background.

Italian Old Master Drawings from the Ratjen Foundation

October 28, 1996 to January 19, 1997

An exhibition of more than fifty Italian Old Master drawings selected from the Ratjen Foundation in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Unfamiliar to American audiences, these drawings were assembled over three decades by Dr. Wolfgang Ratjen, who established the foundation to provide a permanent home for his collection. Works in the exhibition spanned some 250 years, beginning with Guilo Romano in the first half of the sixteenth century, continuing with a strong preference for baroque and rococo sketches, and ending with a few neoclassical studies from the late eighteenth century.

Painting of pastoral estate by a river lined with trees.

Mortlake Terrace: Turner’s Companion Pieces Reunited

October 8, 1996 to May 11, 1997

On loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Joseph Mallord William Turner's Mortlake Terrace, Summer’s Evening of 1827 hung for six months beside its companion piece, The Frick Collection's Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, executed a year earlier. Both were painted for William Moffatt and depict The Limes, Moffatt's home overlooking the Thames at Mortlake, near Kew Gardens to the west of central London.

Painting of design and construction of church

Soane: Connoisseur & Collector, A Selection of Drawings from Sir John Soane’s Collection

April 30, 1996 to July 7, 1996

An exhibition of some fifty architectural drawings, highlights of the renowned collection of 30,000 works housed in Sir John Soane's Museum in London. The exhibition included works by Italian Renaissance masters; leading British architects of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (among them Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor); near contemporaries of Soane such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam, and George Dance the Younger; and the master himself. The drawings were virtually unknown to the public, and they had never before been exhibited outside England.

Pastel bust portrait of Nicolas-Pierre-Baptiste Anselme with white scarf, blue coat, and powdered hair.

Greuze, A Portraitist for the ‘90s

February 20, 1996 to April 28, 1996

A small exhibition focused on a pair of pastel portraits by Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725–1805) that had recently been acquired by the museum: Baptiste Aîné and Madame Baptiste Aîné. Executed in Paris in the early 1790s, these dramatic images of a famous actor and his wife belong to an impressive series of portraits that Greuze painted and drew during the turbulent years of the French Revolution.

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