Letter from the Director: Fall 2019

This letter is adapted from the Fall 2019 issue of the Members’ Magazine.

photo of Oval Room of the Frick Collection with three Manet paintings


Our three current exhibitions underscore our commitment to expanding the understanding of our permanent collection by presenting shows of complementary works. The Frick boasts one of the world’s great collections of Renaissance bronzes, and over the years we have presented distinguished monographs on several masters of the medium, including Riccio and Antico. The current Bertoldo di Giovanni show, the first to focus solely on this long-overlooked artist, is likewise an in-depth examination of this pivotal figure in quattrocento Florence.

We continue our decade-long collaboration with the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, with the presentation of three canvases by Édouard Manet: Fish and Shrimp, Madame Manet, and The Ragpicker. Manet’s influence was critical to avant-garde art in late nineteenth-century Paris, and these three works chart his explorations through Realism and Impressionism. They also complement the single canvas by Manet that Henry Clay Frick acquired, so it is thrilling to have them here at the Frick. In anticipation of this special loan, conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles treated the canvases to remove old varnish, restoring their original luminosity.

Since its opening in 2011, the Portico Gallery has provided the perfect setting for installations of ceramics: Henry Clay Frick’s treasured Sèvres, Melinda and Paul Sullivan’s whimsical Du Paquier, and a selection of French faience from the collection of Trustee Sidney R. Knafel. We now present a spectacular group of objects from the bequest of Henry Arnhold, which celebrates this discerning collector and loyal friend of the museum. The installation has transformed the Portico Gallery—which grew out of a collaboration with Mr. Arnhold—into an eighteenth century–style “porcelain room.”

I hope you enjoy exploring our blog and the online resources related to these exhibitions and that they prompt you to visit the galleries to further explore the subjects that interest you most.

Installation view of Manet: Three Paintings from the Norton Simon Museum (October 16, 2019, through January 5, 2020). Photo: George Koelle

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