Enfilade

Exhibition | The Pursuit of Immortality: Portrait Medals

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on January 15, 2017

Opening in May at The Frick:

The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals
The Frick Collection, New York, 9 May — 10 September 2017

Curated by Aimee Ng and Stephen Scher

9781911282068-frontcoverThe Frick Collection recently announced the largest acquisition in its history—a promised gift of approximately 450 portrait medals from the incomparable collection of Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher. Representing the development of the art of the portrait medal from its inception in fifteenth-century Italy to the nineteenth century, the Scher collection is arguably the world’s most comprehensive and significant collection of portrait medals. Comments Director Ian Wardropper, “Henry Clay Frick had an abiding interest in portraiture as expressed in the paintings, sculpture, enamels, and works on paper he acquired. The Scher medals will coalesce beautifully with these holdings, being understood in our galleries within the broader contexts of European art and culture. At the same time, the intimate scale of the institution will offer a superb platform for the medals to be appreciated as an independent art form, one long overdue for fresh attention and public appreciation.”

To celebrate the promised gift, The Frick Collection will mount an exhibition this spring entitled The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals. The exhibition will explore the flourishing of the medallic arts in major European centers of artistic production and will feature superlative examples by masters of the art such as Pisanello (Italy), Dupré (France), and Reinhart (Germany). Taking and fresh approach to the study of medals, which have often been viewed in the past as specialist objects closer to the field of numismatics, this exhibition will examine medals within the larger context of art, honoring them as a triumph of sculptural production on a small scale. Visitors to the show will encounter a number of renowned sculptors who were also masters of the medal.

The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals is organized by Aimee Ng, Associate Curator at the Frick, and Stephen K. Scher, an esteemed art historian as well as a collector. Accompanying the exhibition is a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue including an essay by Aimee Ng. (In the spring of 2018, a catalogue of the entire Scher Collection will be published, featuring essays by leading medals scholars and illustrated entries about each of the almost one thousand medals in the collection.)

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Aimee Ng, The Pursuit of Immortality: Masterpieces from the Scher Collection of Portrait Medals (London: Giles, 2017), 64 pages, ISBN: 978  19112  82068, £15 / $20.

Accompanying the exhibition is a richly illustrated exhibition catalogue including an essay by Aimee Ng. In the spring of 2018, a catalogue of the entire Scher Collection will be published, featuring essays by leading medals scholars and illustrated entries about each of the almost one thousand medals in the collection.

Aimee Ng is associate curator at The Frick Collection, New York, and a specialist in Italian Renaissance art. She has held curatorial and academic positions at the Morgan Library & Museum, where she was postdoctoral fellow at the Morgan’s Drawing Institute in 2014, and at Columbia University, where she earned her Ph.D. She was guest curator of The Poetry of Parmigianino’s ‘Schiava Turca’ (2014) and organizing curator of Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action (2015–16).

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