With Support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Frick Updates its Historic Enamels Room Cases and Conserves a Remarkable Collection

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gold and enamel plaque depicting Jesus being crowned with thorns, with six smaller biblical scenes

 

New York’s Frick Collection is home to one of the most 
important groups of Renaissance enamelsin the world, 
ranking alongside those of the Musée du Louvre in Paris, 
The Wallace Collection and the Victoria & Albert Museum 
in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, 
and The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. The forty-two
enamels in The Frick Collection were produced in the city 
of Limoges, in central France, fromthe late fifteenth to the 
early seventeenth century. A selection of the Frick’s 
enamelsreturned to view this month after a year’s absence. 
During this period, many objects were examined and treated for the first time since they entered the Collection. 
This project was inspired by advancesin the last decade in the understanding of Renaissance enamel production
and composition. It has also benefited from a major international 
enamel conservation conference held at the Frick. The consensus
about the care of enamels has led many institutionsto place themin 
environments of absolute temperature stability with a lower relative 
humidity than had been recommended in the past. With this new
standard in mind, The Frick Collection rebuilt the historic cases 
created in 1935 for its Enamels Roomby the eminent architect John 
Russell Pope (1874–1937).