Memling's Portraits Attracts Record Attendance and Inspires Temporary Extension of Hours: On view through December 31, 2005
The Frick Collection’s exclusive North American presentation of Memling’s Portraits is expected to have record numbers for both attendance and catalogue sales. Remaining on view through December 31, the exhibition provides the most comprehensive overview ever undertaken of Hans Memling’s career in portraiture, offering nearly two-thirds of the artist’s recorded works in that genre. Considered an unprecedented viewing opportunity and one unlikely to be repeated, the show has been referred to in The New York Times as “an ideal experience” that is “perfect in scale” and in The New York Sun as “perfectly executed” and “a gleaming precious gem of a show.” The Wall Street Journal comments that “the show makes you feel as if you are in the presence of something miraculous.” In the first two months of its presentation, Memling’s Portraits attracted approximately 30 percent more visitors to the Frick than are customarily found during the busy holiday period, vying in attendance only with Whistler, Women, and Fashion (2003) and Victorian Fairy Painting (1998). In response to this level of interest, the museum has extended its Friday evening hours by two hours until 8 p.m. in the two special exhibition galleries only (the permanent collection remains open until 6 p.m.).