An unprecedented exhibition of nearly one hundred French clocks on loan from North American collections. One of a series of loan exhibitions intended to focus attention on lesser-known aspects of the collection’s holdings, French Clocks in North American Collections was organized around the four remarkable eighteenth-century French clocks in the museum. Related examples by the craftsmen who produced these clocks form the nucleus of the exhibition, which extends its scope back to the Renaissance and forward into the early nineteenth century.
Winthrop Kellogg Edey
The Frick Collection has one of the most important public collections of European timepieces in the United States, much of it acquired through the 1999 bequest of the New York collector Winthrop Kellogg Edey. This extraordinary gift of thirty-eight watches and clocks dating from the Renaissance to the early nineteenth century covers the art of horology in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. For reasons of space, only part of the collection can be on permanent view in the museum’s galleries. In 2001, many pieces from the Edey collection were featured in The Art of the Timekeeper: Masterpieces from the Winthrop Edey Bequest, an exhibition organized at the Frick by guest curator William J. H. Andrewes. In 2013, visitors had another opportunity to explore the breadth and significance of the Edey collection through an exhibition that presented fourteen watches and eleven clocks from his bequest.
In 1999, Winthrop Kellogg Edey bequeathed to The Frick Collection a remarkable collection of twenty-five clocks, fourteen watches, and an extensive reference library relating to the history of time measurement. Over nearly five decades, Edey had purchased a large number of timepieces, many of which he later exchanged or sold to upgrade with artifacts of greater significance. This continual refinement enabled him to assemble a small but exceptionally fine collection, illustrating both the stylistic and the technical development of clocks and watches from about 1500 to 1830.