October 12 through December 31, 2005
The Frick Collection is the only museum in the United States to present this touring exhibition of paintings by the important Netherlandish artist Hans Memling (c. 1440-1494). Organized by the Frick in collaboration with the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, and the Groeningemuseum, Bruges, the exhibition provides an overview of Memling's successful career in portraiture, with a selection of approximately thirty portraits by the master and his school, including portrait wings from diptychs and triptychs along with autonomous panels of individual patrons. Additional paintings unique to each venue have also been chosen to illuminate topics of particular relevance to Memling's work: the exchange of influences with contemporary portraiture from Italy and Germany (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza); issues of patronage relating to donor portraits (Groeningemuseum); and the role of the workshop in artistic production (The Frick Collection). This concentrated study not only illuminates the career of a Renaissance master but also explores the function of portraiture in the Netherlands during the fifteenth century. Memling's Portraits made its debut at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, in February 2005, then traveled to the Groeningemuseum, Bruges, in June 2005, before its presentation at The Frick Collection in October 2005, the final venue of the tour.
Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey is coordinating the exhibition at The Frick Collection. Till-Holger Borchert, Chief Curator of the Groeningemuseum, and Tomàs Llorens, Chief Curator of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, are coordinating the presentations at their respective institutions.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Lorne Campbell, Paula Nuttall, and Maryan Ainsworth and includes detailed entries on each work in the exhibition. Edited by Till-Holger Borchert, the catalogue is published by the Groeningemuseum and Ludion, and distributed in English, French, Dutch, Spanish, and German. For information about ordering the catalogue, see the Museum Shop.
Major funding for Memling's Portraits has been provided by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, with generous support from Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Joseph Koerner, Meg Koster, and Leo Anselm Koerner. Additional support has been provided by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Council of The Frick Collection, the Consulate General of Belgium in New York, The Helen Clay Frick Foundation, and the Fellows of The Frick Collection.
This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.
The project is also supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.