Exhibition | Louis Style: French Frames, 1610–1792

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on October 1, 2015


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Press release for the exhibition now on view at The Getty:

Louis Style: French Frames, 1610–1792
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 15 September 2015 — 3 January 2016

Curated by Davide Gasparotto, Anne Woollett, and Gene Karraker

Louis Style: French Frames, 1610–1792 celebrates the dramatic stylistic transformation and technical skill of French frame making in the 17th and 18th centuries. Drawn from the J. Paul Getty Museum’s collection of antique frames, this exhibition presents an array of French design in wall furniture under four kings—from the simple moldings and Italian-inspired ornaments in the time of Louis XIII (1610–1643), to the opulent carved and gilded masterpieces in the age of Louis XIV (1643–1715), to the sculptural forms and rich finishes of the transitional period of the Régence (1715–1723) and Louis XV (1723–1774), and concluding with the restrained treatments preferred during the reign of Louis XVI (1774–1792).


Jean-François de Troy, Before the Ball, 1735, oil on canvas, in a Louis XV frame, carved and gilded oak (The J. Paul Getty Museum)

Louis Style: French Frames, 1610–1792 will be the first exhibition devoted to frames at the Getty Museum. Featuring more than forty frames and framed paintings, Louis Style offers visitors the rare opportunity to consider in depth the types and function of this art form. The installation provides a rich compendium of French design and craftsmanship, along with practical tools, such as the vocabulary of ornament needed to identify the period of a frame, as well as insight into the construction and gilding techniques specific to frames made in France. By addressing the important relationship between a painting and its frame (which sometimes date from different periods and regions), visitors to the exhibition will also gain an awareness of the significance and use of frames in museums.

During the early 1600s through the 1700s—a golden age for frame-making in Paris—the functional surrounds for paintings became expressions of artistry, innovation, taste, and wealth. The primary stylistic trendsetters were the kings of France, whose desire for increasingly opulent forms of display spurred the creative efforts of brilliant designers and craftsmen to magnificent expressions of their personal styles. French frames of this period are distinguished by the use of oak and gold leaf as materials, and techniques of water gilding, elaborate carved ornamentation and varied finishes.

Over the course of several decades, the Museum has assembled a substantial group of period frames to enhance and appropriately display its paintings collection, resulting in a rich and varied assemblage of moldings. Enduring visitor interest in frames and framing led to the publication of D. Gene Karraker’s Looking at European Frames: A Guide to Terms, Styles and Techniques (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2009), illustrated exclusively by works in the collection. The celebration of the 300th anniversary of the death of Louis XIV this year, marked by two major loan exhibitions at the Getty Center, provides the opportunity to present one of the largest and most beautiful areas of the frame collection.

Louis Style: French Frames, 1610–1792 was organized by Senior Curator of Paintings and Department Head, Davide Gasparotto, Curator of Paintings, Anne Woollett, and Associate Conservator of Frames, Gene Karraker.

Hartwig Fischer Appointed as Director of The British Museum

Posted in museums by Editor on October 1, 2015

Press release (29 September 2015) from The British Museum:

Dr_Hartwig_Fischer_British_Museum_DirectorSir Richard Lambert, Chair of the Trustees of the British Museum, this morning announced to staff that Hartwig Fischer had been appointed Director of the British Museum. Dr Fischer, who is currently the Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, will take up the post in Spring 2016. The current Director, Neil MacGregor, will retire from the Museum at Christmas. The appointment has been confirmed by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron.

Chairman of the Trustees Sir Richard Lambert said, “On behalf of the Trustees I am very happy to announce the appointment of Hartwig Fischer—currently Director General of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden—as Director of the British Museum. He is one of the outstanding museum directors in the world. He is not only a great scholar, but an experienced administrator and a gifted linguist with a global reputation for rethinking and representing great collections. In Essen he directed one of the leading museums of 20th-century art in Germany and in Dresden he directs a museum whose collections are amongst the greatest in the world. Neil MacGregor has been a brilliant Director of the British Museum and has transformed its presence across the world. The Trustees are confident Dr Fischer will be a worthy successor.”

Hartwig Fischer said: “When I was growing up in Hamburg, Britain was always present in my family life. It has remained so ever since. I never dreamt that I would be invited to be responsible for this great British institution and I am conscious that nobody could fail to grasp what the British Museum represents not only for the UK but for the whole world. For many years I have looked to the British Museum as a model of public engagement, critical scholarship, and international outreach. I am of course daunted by such a responsibility but I know that nobody directs such a museum alone and the colleagues of the British Museum are admired and envied around the world. I am greatly looking forward to working with them. I have visited the British Museum on many occasions as a member of the public and have always admired the way every member of the team plays their part in making the collection available to the public all over the world. It’s an honour to be asked to become the Director of the British Museum and to follow in the footsteps of Neil MacGregor, who has done more than anybody else to position the Museum as one of modern society’s key institutions, fostering knowledge, understanding, and global citizenship.”

Neil MacGregor said “Hartwig Fischer is the perfect choice to run the British Museum. The Museum, its staff, its Trustees and its unparalleled collection is truly international. It therefore makes absolute sense for the new Director to reflect this global outlook. Dr Fischer is a well-respected scholar with extensive experience. He will, I am sure, build on the British Museum’s recent successes to ensure the Museum remains one of the world’s greatest museums.”

Hartwig Fischer is currently the Director General of the Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) where he is responsible for fourteen museums and four separate institutions in four cities. His focus since his appointment in 2012 has been on modernizing and developing the State Art Collections, which date back to the 16th century. The collections are some of Germany’s finest, spanning more than 5,000 years of art, archaeology, anthropology and cultural history. Prior to that appointment, Fischer was Director of the Folkwang Museum in Essen (2006–2012). Whilst in post he oversaw the fundraising and restoration of the historic museum and the construction of a new building, and presided over a period of increasing visitor figures and popularity. He began his museum career at the Kunstmuseum in Basel, where he was curator of 19th-century and Modern Art from 2001–2006. Fischer has studied the History of Art, History and Classical Archaeology in Bonn, Berlin, Rome and Paris and holds a Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Bonn. He speaks German, English, French and Italian. He was born in Hamburg 14 December 1962 and is married to psychoanalyst Ilaria Piqueras Fischer.

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