In the winter and spring of 2014, the Frick presented Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection, thirty-three statuettes representing Janine and J. Tomilson Hill's more than twenty-year engagement with the art form. The bronzes, which had never before been publicly shown as a group, date from the early sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, from the inception of the genre in Renaissance Italy to its last flowering during the late Baroque period. Many of them were created by such renowned sculptors as Andrea Riccio, Giambologna, and Adriaen de Vries, while others were made by lesser-known northern artists such as Caspar Gras and Hans Reichle, whose talents have only recently begun to be appreciated.
In keeping with the residential character of the museum founded by Henry Clay Frick, where sculptures were situated among paintings and decorative art objects, the Hills’ bronzes were shown alongside selected Old Master and contemporary works in displays that reflected the couple’s diverse holdings and refined collecting sensibilities.
Central to the exhibition, however, was the remarkable group of statuettes assembled over time by Janine and Tom Hill. Masters of the Italian, French, German, and Dutch schools were represented here. The subject matter varies as well, with depictions of pagan gods interspersed with those of Christ and images of secular rulers. Frick Curator Denise Allen characterizes these works as possessing “strength, quality, and diversity. . . .The emotional intensity of the bronze figures unites them, creating a vibrant whole that transcends the sum of its diverse parts.” Renaissance and Baroque Bronzes from the Hill Collection was organized by Allen, who also arranged the museum's acclaimed monographic presentations on Antico (2012), Riccio (2008), and Willem van Tetrode (2003), as well as curating the Fitzwilliam (2005) and Quentin Collections (2004).