This letter is reprinted from the Winter 2018 issue of the Members’ Magazine.
The year ahead boasts a roster of exciting exhibitions, beginning with Zurbarán’s Jacob and His Twelve Sons: Paintings from Auckland Castle. Co-organized with the Meadows Museum in Dallas and The Auckland Project, County Durham, England, the show presents, for the first time in the United States, a rare series of thirteen monumental figures painted in the 1640s by Francisco de Zurbarán, a master of Spain’s Golden Age. Opening in May, Canova’s George Washington will examine the history of Antonio Canova’s lost masterpiece, a full-length statue of America’s first president, drafting his farewell address to the states. In the fall, Luigi Valadier: Splendor in Eighteenth-Century Rome will showcase more than sixty objects by the renowned silversmith, which celebrate his unsurpassed technical expertise and avant-garde aesthetic. Additional exhibitions are planned, and I encourage you to visit the galleries often in order to experience them, along with the many complementary lectures, talks, and seminars designed to augment your appreciation and enjoyment of the works on view.
Each year, Apollo Magazine recognizes exceptional achievements in the art and museum world, and I am pleased to share that the Frick was cited in two categories. Pierre Gouthière: Virtuoso Gilder at the French Court was named one of the top international exhibitions of the year, along with shows from Tate Modern, the Ashmolean, the Rijksmuseum, and the National Gallery, London. Notably, the Frick exhibition was the only decorative arts show singled out. In the category “Digital Innovation of the Year,” Pharos—a collaboration of the Frick Art Reference Library’s Photoarchive and thirteen other preeminent photoarchives from around the globe—was recognized for making accessible the digital records of more than 25 million works of art. This groundbreaking initiative was spearheaded by the Frick in 2013, together with the Courtauld Institute of Art, the Getty Research Institute, and the Yale Center for British Art.
As many of you know, Trustee Stephen A. Schwarzman offered to match the amount raised for the Annual Fund during the months of November and December. Mr. Schwarzman’s generosity inspired others to donate in an unprecedented way, and I am delighted to tell you that between November 1 and December 31, we raised an impressive $394,989 — which he matched, dollar for dollar. These funds are vital to the continued success of our many programs, and we are grateful to our members and Mr. Schwarzman for their incredible show of support. None of the offerings of which we are so proud—exhibitions, lectures, symposia, and concerts, not to mention research and conservation projects—would be possible without your financial help. As we look forward to exciting initiatives in the coming year, I thank you wholeheartedly for your involvement and generosity.
Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664), Jacob, ca. 1640–45. Oil on canvas, 79 1/8 x 40 5/16 in. © The Auckland Project/Zurbarán Trust. Photo: Robert LaPrelle