Frick Publishes Tastemakers, Collectors, and Patrons

Book cover featuring a painting of two men standing on a cliff

Frick Publishes Final Volume in Series on History of Art Collecting in America

Tastemakers, Collectors, and Patrons Explores the Dynamic Landscape of American Art Collecting in the United States from the Late Eighteenth to Early Twentieth Centuries

New York, NY (February 8, 2024)—The Frick Collection has published Tastemakers, Collectors, and Patrons: Collecting American Art in the Long Nineteenth Century, the sixth and final book in its Studies in the History of Art Collecting in America series.

Edited by Linda S. Ferber, Margaret R. Laster, and Samantha Deutch (series editor), the volume explores the dynamic landscape of American art collecting in the United States from the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. The geographic range of collecting histories presented in this publication spans the country, from the Eastern Seaboard to the Old South, the Midwest, and the West Coast.

Contributing scholars investigate individual collectors and collectives whose missions to create regional and national collecting communities in the United States encouraged civic philanthropy in the fine arts. Key themes—such as the creation of an “American” school distinct from, yet rooted in, European tradition, as well as the trials of forming publicly supported museums—reverberate throughout the book. Essays examine early patrons, collectors, and museum founders; the impact of sectionalism, the Civil War, and reform on American collecting efforts; and the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of artists, collectors, and dealers at the turn of the century and beyond. Each section foregrounds different issues, underscoring the complexity of the historical, cultural, and political environments in which collections of American art were formed.

The book is divided into three parts:

  • Part I: Crafting a Cultural Identity: Early Tastemakers, Collectors, and Patrons
  • Part II: Turbulence of Taste in Mid-Nineteenth-Century America
  • Part III: Promoting, Advancing, and Collecting American Art at the Turn of the Century and Beyond

Together, the volume traces the evolving taste and market for American art in the United States.

In addition to the editors, contributors include Lynne D. Ambrosini, Sarah Cash, Julie McGinnis Flanagan, Ilene Susan Fort, Barbara Dayer Gallati, Lance Humphries, Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Sophie Lynford, Kimberly Orcutt, and Richard Saunders.

The Frick’s Studies in the History of Art Collecting in America series was conceived to encourage and support the study of the formation of collections of fine and decorative arts, both public and private, in Europe and the United States from the Renaissance to the present day. Previous publications in the series include Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals (2014); A Market for Merchant Princes: Collecting Italian Renaissance Paintings in America (2015); Buying Baroque: Italian Seventeenth-Century Paintings Come to America (2017); The Americas Revealed: Collecting Colonial and Modern Latin American Art in the United States (2018); and America and the Art of Flanders: Collecting Paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Their Circles (2020).

Tastemakers, Collectors, and Patrons: Collecting American Art in the Long Nineteenth Century was published in January 2024 by The Frick Collection in association with Penn State University Press. The 270-page hardcover volume includes 72 color and 26 black-and-white illustrations ($89.95, member price $71.96). The publication can be ordered online at shop.frick.org, by emailing sales@frick.org, or by calling 212.547.6849.

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