An exhibition of fourteen paintings and four sculptures from the collection of Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. French, Italian, British, German, Spanish, and American artists were represented in works that ranged from scenes by the Italian vedutisti of the eighteenth-century to masterpieces by French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters.
An exhibition of two remarkable portraits of famous men lent by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia: an oil on canvas representing Benjamin Franklin painted by Jean-Baptiste Greuze in 1777, and a marble bust of Nicolas de Condorcet executed by Jean-Antoine Houdon in 1785. Also on view was a small group of letters, manuscripts, and eighteenth-century publications relating to the history of the two portraits and the relations between the American statesman and the mathematician, philosopher, and revolutionary.
An exhibition of forty-one medals, a print by Rembrandt, and a spectacular silver-gilt standing cup with cover, dated 1639, by Jan Lutma the Elder, all chosen and catalogued by guest curator Stephen K. Scher. The exhibition focused on Dutch medals of the seventeenth century, preceded by a sampling of sixteenth-century Italian and Netherlandish examples. Almost all of the examples are in silver, and most are cast, although large struck medals are equally important and impressive.
An exhibition of more than fifty Italian Old Master drawings selected from the Ratjen Foundation in Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Unfamiliar to American audiences, these drawings were assembled over three decades by Dr. Wolfgang Ratjen, who established the foundation to provide a permanent home for his collection. Works in the exhibition spanned some 250 years, beginning with Guilo Romano in the first half of the sixteenth century, continuing with a strong preference for baroque and rococo sketches, and ending with a few neoclassical studies from the late eighteenth century.
On loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Joseph Mallord William Turner's Mortlake Terrace, Summer’s Evening of 1827 hung for six months beside its companion piece, The Frick Collection's Mortlake Terrace: Early Summer Morning, executed a year earlier. Both were painted for William Moffatt and depict The Limes, Moffatt's home overlooking the Thames at Mortlake, near Kew Gardens to the west of central London.
Sixty-six drawings and watercolors by the renowned eighteenth-century architect Robert Adam, his brother and partner James, and artists employed in their office were on view at The Frick Collection from December 16, 1997, through April 5, 1998. The works were selected from the 9,000 Adam drawings acquired by Sir John Soane in 1833, virtually all of the surviving sheets that were kept by Robert and James Adam themselves.
With extraordinary generosity, the Musée du Louvre loaned one of the most celebrated icons of French art: Nicolas Poussin's The Arcadian Shepherds. This image of four shepherds solemnly meditating over the inscription they have discovered on a tomb — Et in Arcadia Ego (“Even in Arcadia [there] am I”) — has come to be regarded as the quintessence of the art of Poussin (1594-1665).