Exhibition | Morgan: Mind of the Collector

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on July 29, 2017

On this fall at the Wadsworth Atheneum:

Morgan: Mind of the Collector
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, 23 September — 31 December 2017

Nearly 100 years ago, the Wadsworth Atheneum received an extraordinary gift of more than 1,350 works of art from the collection of financier J. Pierpont Morgan. These objects, an array of 18th century German and French porcelains, Italian majolica, baroque goldsmith’s work and glass, and a small group of antiquities, now form the core of the museum’s European decorative arts collection.

Morgan’s story as a collector is not as well known as the story of his business career despite the groundbreaking quantity, scope, and character of his collection. Estimated to have exceeded 20,000 works of art assembled in only 23 years, the quality of the collection was remarkably high—a great achievement at a time when scholarship was young and fakery rampant.

Pierpont began to seriously collect art after his father’s death in 1890, and by 1907 he was devoting most of his time to building collections for himself and for institutions. Simultaneously, Morgan’s extensive philanthropies invigorated and reshaped a number of fledgling public institutions like the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Natural History, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art.

Morgan: Mind of the Collector explores Pierpont’s groundbreaking collecting career through its impact on art scholarship, the art market, and the redefining of collecting in American and European culture. Profiling what he collected and how, the exhibition assesses this remarkable man and his colossal achievement with fresh eyes and the distance of a century. Was he a cultural super-hero, a ransacking barbarian, or something more nuanced? Featuring stellar works of art from the Wadsworth Atheneum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Morgan Library, this exhibition tells a variety of illuminating stories about J. Pierpont Morgan as a collector, delving into his mind and exploring his enduring legacy.

Conference | Morgan: Mind of the Collector

Posted in conferences (to attend) by Editor on July 29, 2017

From H-ArtHist:

Morgan: Mind of the Collector
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT, 10–11 November 2017

J. Pierpont Morgan (1837–1913) spent over twenty years traveling the globe to amass the largest collection of art and cultural artifacts of his time. Estimated to have exceeded 20,000 works of art, Morgan’s collections represent a broad historical and geographic range of art and cultural artifacts. Acting on his father’s wishes, J.P. Morgan’s son, Jack, donated more than 1,350 works collected by his father to the Wadsworth Atheneum in his native Hartford. In fall 2017, the Wadsworth Atheneum will mark the centennial anniversary of Morgan’s gift and its historical impact with an exhibition, Morgan: Mind of the Collector. The Wadsworth Atheneum will host an international symposium in conjunction with the exhibition to reexamine and showcase the latest research about Morgan’s collection and how he shaped the identity of the collector in the modern age.

For more information or to register, please contact faculty@wadsworthatheneum.org. Hotel discounts are available for the attendees of the conference at the Hartford Marriott Downtown.

F R I D A Y ,  1 0  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 7

12:00  Registration

1:15  Introduction
• Neil Harris (University of Chicago), Morgan the Collector

1:45  1 | Morgan and the Biblical Lands (chair, Steven Tinney, University of Pennsylvania)
• Yelena Rakic (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Discovering the Ancient Near East
• Lyle Humphrey (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh), Morgan in Egypt
• John Bidwell (Morgan Library & Museum, New York), Morgan’s Bibles

3:30  Break

3:45  2 | The Romance of History (chair, Christine Brennan, Metropolitan Museum of Art)
• Christine Brennan (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Morgan and Medieval Art
• Roger Wieck (Morgan Library & Museum, New York), Morgan and Manuscripts

5:15  Exhibition Viewing and Reception

6:30  Speakers’ Dinner

S A T U R D A Y ,  1 1  N O V E M B E R  2 0 1 7

10:00  3 | Building a Beautiful Life (chair, Colin Bailey, Morgan Library & Museum)
• Wolfram Koeppe (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), Gold and Garnets: A Love of Precious Objects
• Linda Roth (Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford), Prince’s Gate, London
• Alice Cooney Frelinghuysen (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York), From Gilded Age Interior to Renaissance Palazzo: Morgan’s New York House

12:00  Lunch

1:00  4 | The Politics of Collecting: The Global Network (chair, Inge Reist, Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Collection)
• Catherine Scallen (Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland), Turning to the Experts
• Jennifer Tonkovich (Morgan Library & Museum, New York), Morgan’s Experts and Dealers in London and Europe
• Barbara Pezzini (National Gallery, London), Collecting British Paintings

3:00  Break

3:15  5 | Crafting a Legacy (chair, Jennifer Tonkovich, Morgan Library & Museum)
•  Charlotte Vignon (Frick Collection, New York), Morgan and Duveen: The Formation and Dispersal of a Collection
• Jo Briggs (Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore), Morgan and His Fellow American Collectors

5:00  Reception and Exhibition Viewing


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