Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty
June 17 – September 10, 2017

In a career that spanned seven decades, iconic American photographer Irving Penn (1917–2009) created an enormous body of work. This retrospective featured the full range of his accomplishment in more than 140 photographs including early social realist images, glamorous fashion photographs, insightful portraits, still lifes, nudes, and his late work with found objects. Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty provided a compelling overview of the work of one of the 20th century’s greats, while simultaneously reflecting on some of the century’s most enthralling personalities and exploring its social and cultural contrasts. Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty was organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from ART MENTOR FOUNDATION LUCERNE, Sakurako and William Fisher, The William R. Kenan Jr. Endowment Fund, The Lauder Foundation – Leonard and Judy Lauder Fund, Edward Lenkin and Roselin Atzwanger, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Margery and Edgar Masinter, The Margery and Edgar Masinter Exhibitions Fund, the James F. Petersen Charitable Fund in honor of Tania and Tom Evans, The Bernie Stadiem Endowment Fund, and the Trellis Fund. The C.F. Foundation in Atlanta supports the museum’s traveling exhibition program, Treasures to Go.

Irving Penn

The Frick Collects: From Rubens to Monet
October 29, 2016 – May 14, 2017

From Henry Clay Frick’s early purchases, to his daughter Helen’s collecting interests, through to the acquisitions that have been made by the museum in recent years, this exhibition told the story of The Frick Pittsburgh through its collection. Underscoring the enduring legacy of the Frick family as art collectors, this exhibition included a selection of objects that were brought together to tell a unified story. Organized by The Frick Pittsburgh, the exhibition was accompanied by a fully-illustrated guide to the collection.

Rubens

Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe
June 11 – September 4, 2016

Deadly sharp stilettos, architecturally inspired wedges and platforms, and a number of artfully crafted shoes that defy categorization were featured among the selection of nearly 160 historical and contemporary heels on loan from designers, the renowned Brooklyn Museum costume collection housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Bata Shoe Museum, and others. Included among the many artists, designers, and fashion houses represented in Killer Heels were: Balenciaga, Manolo Blahnik, Chanel, Christian Dior, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Zaha Hadid, Iris van Herpen, X United Nude, Christian Louboutin, Alexander McQueen, Prada, and Roger Vivier. This exhibition was organized by the Brooklyn Museum.

Charles Courtney Curran

Fast Cars and Femmes Fatales: The Photographs of Jacques Henri Lartigue
February 6 – May 15, 2016

The privileged, younger son in a wealthy, glamorous French family, Jacques-Henri Lartigue (1894–1986) was a first-hand witness to the amusements and pleasures of life in the Belle-Époque and early-20th century France. A thoughtful and artistic child, Lartigue began taking photographs at age six and from the moment he was given his first camera at age eight, he incessantly documented his world, creating a singular record of a storybook-like existence. The exhibition spans the years from 1907 to 1958 and reproductions of pages of his photo albums give insight into Lartigue’s creative process and his acute observations of life.

Charles Courtney Curran

Forbidden Fruit: Chris Antemann at MEISSEN
October 3, 2015 – January 10, 2016

Contemporary porcelain artist Chris Antemann, who grew up in nearby Johnstown, has spent the last several years working in residence at the Meissen porcelain manufactory’s art campus in Germany. Her playful porcelain fantasies revive both the materials and methods used in producing 18th-century figurines, with an approach that puts a contemporary spin on the typical subject matter of flirtation and seduction common during the Rococo period. Antemann’s figures enact scenes of romance and seduction while aiming a knowing wink at traditional gender roles. The Frick will present Antemann’s major works for Meissen, The Love Temple, and The Pleasure Garden (inspired by Fragonard’s famous Progress of Love series) as well as a selection of smaller works, in the context of our permanent collection of 18th-century French art. The artist will also be curating a selection of porcelain from our permanent collection and installing work in our 18th-century French salon period room, which will be open for the first time since 2003 for this special exhibition.

Charles Courtney Curran

Rolling Hills, Satanic Mills:
The British Passion for Landscape
May 9 – August 2, 2015

Drawn from the remarkable collections of the National Museum Wales, more than 60 works of art in this exhibition trace the development of landscape painting in Britain through the Industrial Revolution and the eras of Romanticism, Impressionism, and Modernism, to the postmodern and post-industrial imagery of today.

Hills and Mills: Pittsburgh on Paper
The exhibition is presented with a complementary installation of 19th-century Pittsburgh landscapes. Hills & Mills: Pittsburgh on Paper, curated from the collection of Bruce and Sheryl Wolf, which provides visual parallels from Pittsburgh’s own landscape and history.

Charles Courtney Curran

Impressionist to Modernist:
Masterworks of Early Photography
February 21 – April 19, 2015

Featuring an international group of artists, Impressionist to Modernist: Masterworks of Early Photography captures, though more than 70 works, a pivotal time in the history of the development of the medium. Rare, hand-crafted-vintage prints made through a variety of processes illustrate some of the artistic choices open to the late-19th and early-20th century photographer, and chart the shift to prominence of the classic black and white (gelatin silver) print, which came to dominate photography in the 20th century.

Charles Courtney Curran

Charles Courtney Curran:
Seeking the Ideal
Through February 1, 2015

French-trained American artist Charles Courtney Curran (1861–1942) is known for his sparkling canvases of women in gardens and other outdoor settings. Curran brought the broken brushstrokes and sun-drenched palette of French Impressionist painting to a distinctly American landscape—creating many of his works along the shores of Lake Erie and in the mountain hamlet of Cragsmoor, New York.

Henry Clay Frick purchased Curran’s 1890 painting Woman with a Horse and Carriage, which typically hangs in the Clayton library. For this exhibition, our painting will join about 60 others as Curran’s work travels to three North American venues (including The Frick Art Museum) in this first critical retrospective of his career since his death in 1942. The exhibition is organized by the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, and will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue.

Charles Courtney Curran

Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist – Works on Paper by the Artist and His Circle
June 28 – October 5, 2014

Edgar Degas (1834–1917), one of the most familiar of the Impressionist artists, is known for his iconic paintings of ballet dancers, horse racing, and bathers. This exhibition of more than 100 works on paper is built around a core group of 55 works by Degas, known as one of the strongest draftsman of the Impressionist circle. From early drawings to late experiments in photography—the exhibition will illuminate the artist’s personal life, his creative restlessness and experimentation, and his wider artistic circle.

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Charles Courtney Curran

The Warner Collection: An American Odyssey
March 1–May 25, 2014

This exciting exhibition features American artists from the nation’s early years of independence through the dawn of the 20th century and includes major artists and movements from the Peale family and Gilbert Stuart to American Impressionists like Childe Hassam and Theodore Robinson, with beautiful Hudson River School works falling in between.

Charles Courtney Curran

Clayton Days Revisited: A Project by Vik Muniz
July 13 – October 27, 2014

In 1999 the Frick collaborated with contemporary artist Vik Muniz on a project that resulted in an exhibition of 65 photographs made on site and in the nearby environs of Pittsburgh. This exhibition marked the Frick’s first venture into working with a living artist, and resulted in a significant body of work.

The Frick will restage this exhibition in the summer and fall of 2013 to coincide with the regional focus on contemporary art during the Carnegie International. Since working with the Frick, Muniz has received international acclaim, while his work has continued to be marked by his inimitable blend of wit, historical references, aesthetic excellence, and social relevance.

Accompanied by new interpretive materials, Clayton Days Revisited: A Project by Vik Muniz invites you into a late-19th-century narrative that will open up the way you view our historic site.

Organized by the Frick Art & Historical Center.

Charles Courtney Curran

A Kind of Alchemy: Medieval Persian Ceramics
February 23 –June 16, 2013

This exhibition offers a beautiful and fascinating look at the diversity of ceramics made in ancient Persia (what is now present-day Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan). Produced for both the luxury and middle-class markets, these vessels, bowls, pitchers, and bottles reflect numerous cultural and artistic influences and an aesthetic sensibility that seems startling modern. From 10th-century splashware, buffware and slip-painted ware to lusterware and 14th-century fritware, the objects illustrate the influence of Chinese porcelains, as well as typical Islamic abstraction, calligraphy, and imagery inspired by forms in nature. The works exemplify the sophistication of an urban culture that prospered from the Silk Road trade between the far and near east, and beyond to Europe..

Walter Gay, in contrast, painted society’s rooms—with their silk wall coverings, ornate paneling, 18th-century French furniture, tapestries, and sculptures—arranged in the private spaces of what were often legendary residences.

Organized by the Frick Art & Historical Center.

Charles Courtney Curran

Impressions of Interiors: Gilded Age Paintings by Walter Gay
October 6, 2012 –January 6 , 2013

American artist Walter Gay (1856–1937) specialized in painting views of opulent residential interiors in late-19th and early-20th-century America and Europe. John Singer Sargent, Gay’s nearly exact contemporary, is well known for painting the sumptuous clothing and jewels of American society in his fashionable portraits.

Walter Gay, in contrast, painted society’s rooms—with their silk wall coverings, ornate paneling, 18th-century French furniture, tapestries, and sculptures—arranged in the private spaces of what were often legendary residences.

Charles Courtney Curran