The Frick Collection
George Stubbs (1724 - 1806): A Celebration
Exhibitions: George Stubbs (1724–1806): A Celebration

George Stubbs (1724 – 1806): A Celebration
February 14 through May 27, 2007

Haymakers, 1785, oil on panel, Tate, London, Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery, The Art Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, and subscribers 1977  
Haymakers, 1785, oil on panel, Tate, London, Purchased with assistance from the Friends of the Tate Gallery, The Art Fund, the Pilgrim Trust, and subscribers 1977
George Stubbs (1724 – 1806): A Celebration, an exhibition of seventeen paintings by the celebrated artist, comes in early 2007 to The Frick Collection, its only North American venue. The exhibition marks the bicentenary of Stubbs’s death by presenting some of his greatest contributions to the tradition of eighteenth-century British painting, all notable for their originality and beauty. Furthermore, while Stubbs’s work is represented in many American collections, the exhibition at the Frick exclusively draws on British-owned examples, some of which have never crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and thus offers an important viewing opportunity in this country. The exhibition tour began in the spring of 2006 in the artist’s native Liverpool at the Walker Art Gallery and continues this fall and winter at Tate Britain, London, the city where Stubbs enjoyed his success as a painter, concluding at the Frick.

Stubbs is renowned for the precise and noble treatment of animals in a style ordinarily reserved for the human figure, and he spent many years studying and documenting the anatomy of horses, dogs, and wild animals. His understanding of the physical structure of these animals provided him with the exceptional ability to convey accurately their beauty, strength, and dignity. Stubbs’s attention to nature, paired with an innate sense of design, balance, and restraint, enabled him to create lyrical and graceful representations that are unparalleled by other animal painters. The Frick showing will devote much attention to animal paintings and will also feature quintessential English landscape and genre scenes, representing nearly the full range of work in oil that Stubbs produced over the course of his career.

Important paintings will be drawn from the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Tate Britain, London. Many several seldom-seen works from private English collections are included in the exhibition. Some, such as the Walker’s magisterial portrait of the thoroughbred racehorse Molly Longlegs, have been newly conserved for the exhibition. A revelatory presentation, George Stubbs (1724 – 1806): A Celebration will emphasize the artist’s innovations and make a compelling case for understanding him as one of the most gifted oil painters of his generation. A related publication is authored by Alex Kidson, Curator of British Art at the Walker Art Gallery. Presentation of George Stubbs (1724–1806): A Celebration in New York is coordinated by the Frick’s Chief Curator, Colin B. Bailey, and Associate Curator, Denise Allen.

Major funding for George Stubbs (1724–1806): A Celebration has been provided by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. Corporate support has been provided by Fiduciary Trust Company International. Generous support has also been provided by Francis Finlay, Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Colin B. Bailey, and by the Fellows of The Frick Collection.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.