Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Trip to the Frick to See Drawings and Prints from the Clark



A view into the Garden Court of the Frick (click on photos for a larger view)
I recently visited the Frick Collection, the perennial New York City favorite on the upper east side, in order to see a current exhibition called The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark. Readers of this blog probably know that the Frick Collection was created by Henry Clay Frick, the turn-of-the-century American industrialist, financier and art patron.



His home on Fifth Avenue was built in 1912-1914, and when he passed away in 1919 the house became a museum filled with his old master paintings and French furniture, which we enjoy today. The Frick offers an elegant, Edwardian trip back in time at the corner of 70th and 5th. I hadn't been in a while, so I took a spin through.

Eight canvases painted by Francois Boucher line the walls of this salon. The romantic canvases originally were installed in Mrs. Frick's boudoir upstairs.


Painted panels by Fragonard decorate the walls of the drawing room. The large, poetic panels picture the different stages of love.


In 2011, an outdoor walkway was enclosed with glass to create the new Portico Gallery. Currently, it houses an exhibition of important clocks and watches.


The West Gallery was where Mr. Frick displayed many of the paintings he collected. In his time, paintings were hung on top of each other, salon-style.


The peaceful Garden Court was originally an exterior courtyard. It was covered with glass when the house was converted into a museum. 


In the smaller gallery downstairs, a visitor now finds The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark. The Sterling and Francine Clark Institute in Williamstown, Mass., has a great collection of nineteenth century French art, and 58 of its works have traveled to the Frick with this exhibit which was organized by curators Jay A. Clarke from the Clark and Colin B. Bailey and Susan Grace Galassi from the Frick. Emphasising spontaneity and expressiveness over a polished finish, these drawings and prints capture contemporary life in nineteenth century France. 
A busy Paris street by Pissarro -


Camille Pissarro (1830–1903)
Boulevard de Rochechouart, 1880
Pastel on beige wove paper
23 9/16 x 28 15/16 inches
© Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1996.5

Bathers by Cezanne -


Paul C├ęzanne (1839–1906)
The Bathers: Large Plate, 1898
Lithograph printed in black, green, yellow-green, orange, gray, blue, and purple-blue on cream laid paper
19 x 24 13/16 inches
© Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.26

An entertainer by Toulouse-Lautrec -


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)
The Seated Clowness (Miss Cha-U-Kao), from Elles, 1896
Lithograph printed in green-black, black-brown, yellow, red, and blue on cream wove paper
20 11/16 x 15 13/16 inches
© Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1962.108

Boating by Morisot -


Berthe Morisot (1841–1895)
Before a Yacht, 1875
Watercolor over graphite on cream wove paper
8 1/8 x 10 9/16 inches
© Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1964

I am right now reading Rosamond Bernier's memoir Some of My Lives, where I learned that Berthe Morisot married Eduard Manet's brother Eugene Manet, and they had a daughter, Julie Manet. Did you know that? This Morisot watercolor also reminded me of the Morisot paintings now on view at the Impressionism and fashion exhibit currently mounted up the street at the Met. This drawings and prints show at the Frick, up until June 16th, dovetails nicely with the Impressionism and fashion show at the Met. Go!

2 comments:

Dean Farris said...

Bart, love the Frick! Your post was most enjoyable. I once got to work in the penthouse at 2 E. 70 (next door) for the late Teddy Forstmann, which had its own incredible art collection, and had to have a large Bracque hoisted up and installed!

Bart Boehlert said...

Dean, sometimes that is the only way to go!
Best,
bb