Over the past forty-five years, longtime Frick trustees Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard have assembled an extraordinary collection of works on paper. Displayed here for the first time, the promised gift of twenty-six works from their collection complements and deepens the Frick’s holdings in this area and is nothing short of transformative for the museum.
Ranging in date from the end of the fifteenth century to the twentieth century, the collection has a particular focus on figurative works from Europe, especially France, Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands. Of the twenty-six works gifted to the Frick, just two are landscapes, while the rest are representations of the human figure. Almost half of them are portraits or studies of individuals. One of the strengths of the collection is in preparatory works related to paintings, such as Sargent’s study for Madame X, the Eveillards’ first purchase in 1975. The couple would go on to assemble more than two hundred works, guided by their personal taste, the desire for works of quality, and the condition that the enthusiasm for an acquisition be shared. Together with the opera, collecting drawings has been one of their greatest passions.
More than a century after Henry Clay Frick’s death, the museum’s holdings have grown in a number of areas through acquisitions and generous donations such as the Eveillard Gift, which solidifies the museum’s collection of European works on paper and pastels. Together with the creation of its first purpose-designed gallery for works on paper in the house at 1 East 70th Street, this landmark gift recognizes and enhances the Frick’s commitment to the research and display of European drawings.
John Singer Sargent (Florence 1856–1925 London), Virginie Amélie Avegno, Madame Gautreau (Madame X), ca. 1884. Graphite on cream wove paper, 12 3/8 × 8 7/8 in. (314.3 × 225.4 mm). Promised Gift from the Collection of Elizabeth and Jean-Marie Eveillard. Photo Joseph Coscia Jr.