The Frick Collection
Goya's Last Works
 
Special Exhibition: The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain
 
:: The Japanese Palace of Augustus the Strong: Royal Ambition and Collecting Traditions in Dresden

:: The Arnhold Collection: From Dresden to New York

:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1710–13: “Red Porcelain” Production


:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1713–50: The New Medium, Court Culture, and European Tastes


:: The Royal Porcelain Manufactory of Saxony,
c. 1720-50: Chinoiserie Style, the Marchands- Merciers, and the Independent Decorators


The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710–50
March 25, 2008, through June 29, 2008

The exhibition catalogue, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-50, will be available in the Museum Shop of The Frick Collection in mid-April. Advance orders may be placed on the Web site on the Museum Shop site.  
The exhibition catalogue, The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-50, is available in the Museum Shop of The Frick Collection. Orders may be placed on the Web site on the Museum Shop site.

 

The Frick Collection is exhibiting a selection of Meissen porcelain from the collection of Henry Arnhold. One of the greatest private holdings of early Meissen assembled in the twentieth century, the collection was formed in two phases, the first in Dresden between 1926 and 1935 by Henry’s parents, Lisa (née Mattersdorff; 1890–1972) and Heinrich (1885–1935) Arnhold; the second, by Henry in New York between 1972 and 2006. Heinrich Arnhold, trained as a lawyer and a member of a powerful banking family in Dresden, and his wife, who had studied medicine, were married in 1914 and became deeply involved in the cultural and intellectual life of the city. Their interest in collecting porcelain may have stemmed, in part, from the fact that Heinrich served on the boards of thirteen porcelain and ceramic firms in Saxony with which his bank was affiliated. He and Lisa began by making a few tentative purchases of porcelain, which were later sold, before deciding to focus on the acquisition of pieces from the early period at Meissen, choosing, almost exclusively, wares and vases rather than figures.

  Teapot with Cover, Meissen porcelain, Böttger period, c. 1713?15, 1928.149; H: 6? (15.2 cm), The Arnhold Collection Photo: Maggie Nimkin
 

Teapot with Cover, Meissen porcelain, Böttger period, c. 1713–15, 1928.149; H: 6” (15.2 cm), The Arnhold Collection Photo: Maggie Nimkin

The collection grew to include large vases, pieces from table services, as well as tea, coffee, and chocolate services. Although well known to specialists, this remarkable collection has never before been the subject of a major public exhibition.

The formula and method for manufacturing true porcelain were developed in China by the sixth century but remained a consuming mystery in the West until their discovery in 1709 by the alchemist Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682–1719), under the patronage of August II, elector of Saxony and king of Poland. The following year, the king established a royal manufactory outside of Dresden in the town of Meissen, and the porcelain created there has been known by that name ever since.

Cabinet Figure or Table Decoration: Pantalone and Columbine, Meissen porcelain, c. 1741?45, modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler (1706?1775), 1741, 2006.586. Photo: Maggie Nimkin  
Cabinet Figure or Table Decoration: Pantalone and Columbine, Meissen porcelain, c. 1741–45, modeled by Johann Joachim Kändler (1706–1775), 1741, 2006.586. Photo: Maggie Nimkin

 

The early years at Meissen were exciting times of experiment, not only with the formula for porcelain but also with shapes and decoration. Initially, many of the works produced were direct imitations of Japanese and Chinese objects in August II’s famous collection. Others had European forms incorporating Asian decorative motifs. Because the manufactory initially had difficulty with firing enamel colors, most of the wares were white or were painted or gilded after firing.

In many ways, Henry Arnhold, in adding to the collection of his parents, continued to follow their taste and preferences. He took a new direction, however, in acquiring significant blue-and-white objects commissioned by August II that bore the mark of his famed Japanese Palace, just as he did in acquiring fifteen cabinet and dessert figures in 2006. The result is a rich and profoundly personal collection of exquisite objects from the early, innovative period at Meissen.

The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710–50, was organized for The Frick Collection by Director Anne L. Poulet and Maureen Cassidy-Geiger, guest curator of the exhibition. It is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, published by The Frick Collection in association with D Giles Unlimited, London, available in mid-April in the Museum Shop and online at shopfrick.org.

The exhibition is made possible, in part, by the generous support of the Arnhold Foundation.

 

 

 

The Arnhold Collection of Meissen Porcelain, 1710-50 Teapot, Meissen porcelain, c. 1725– 30, decoration attributed to Ignaz Preissler, c. 1725–30; 2001.468, photo: Maggie Nimkin Teapot and Cover, Meissen porcelain; c. 1725-30; h: 15.2 cm, without cover, to tip of handle h: 13.7 cm; The Arnhold Collection; photo: Maggie Nimkin Stand, Meissen porcelain, c. 1730, 2001.435, photo: Maggie NimkinCoffee Pot with Cover, Meissen stoneware, c. 1710–13, engraving executed in Dresden or Bohemia, 2001.449 (photo: Maggie Nimkin)