Past Exhibition

Henry Arnhold’s Meissen Palace: Celebrating a Collector
November 7, 2019 to March 11, 2020
blue and white porcelain vase designed as a bird cage

The Frick Collection presented Henry Arnhold’s Meissen Palace: Celebrating a Collector, an exhibition of works from the famed European porcelain manufactory, along with several Asian examples that inspired such wares. The pieces were drawn from the collection of the late Henry H. Arnhold (1921–2018), whose foundation made a promised gift of more than one hundred objects to the institution nearly a decade ago and supported the creation of the Portico Gallery, where the exhibition was shown. Organized by Charlotte Vignon, the Frick’s Curator of Decorative Arts, the show offered a fresh take on this esteemed collection, transforming the gallery into an eighteenth-century “porcelain room” and grouping the works on view by color. This type of installation emulates a historic approach and allows visitors to experience these fragile, luxurious objects in much the same way as they would have been seen in eighteenth-century Europe.

Henry Arnhold’s Meissen Palace also considered the late collector's attraction to these wondrous pieces alongside the fascination they held for the most famous patron of such objects, Augustus II (1670–1733), Elector of Saxony and later King of Poland. The exhibition explored the ways both enthusiasts lived with their collections, as well as the idea that Arnhold was creating his own palace of porcelain, acquiring many objects commissioned by Augustus. The show is accompanied by an illustrated booklet featuring installation views and a conversation with members of the Arnhold family.

This exhibition was made possible by the Arnhold family in honor of Henry H. Arnhold.

One of a Pair of “Birdcage” Vases, Meissen Porcelain Manufactory, after 1730. Hard-paste porcelain, h. 20 1/4 in. (51.4 cm). The Frick Collection, New York; Gift of Henry H. Arnhold. Photo Michael Bodycomb

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