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Symposium - Forging a Legacy: Collecting in the Gilded Age

Event information

June 6, 2024
9:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Location
The Frick Art Museum Auditorium
Cost:
Free with advance registration

Please Note: Ticket purchase is required for admission to Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt

Description:

This symposium will explore the legacy of the father-daughter collecting dynasty of Henry Clay Frick and Helen Clay Frick. Talks from scholars and experts will trace the development of their collecting interests, situate the two within a broader network of elite members of the art market, and examine the role they played in shaping our knowledge and experience of works of art. Presentations will include cutting-edge research related to:

 
  • Familial collecting and collections
  • Gilded age display
  • Eco-criticism
  • The intersection of gender, sexuality, and race and collecting
  • The cultural, social, and environmental legacies of gilded age titans of industry in Pittsburgh and Western PA
Symposium - Forging a Legacy: Collecting in the Gilded Age

This program made possible through the generosity of our supporters, including Susan E. Hunter, Clark Hunter Foundation, Dr. Cheryl and Mr. Tom Fogarty, and Brian Wongchaowart.

Symposium Schedule

9:30 a.m. – Welcome

9:45 a.m. – Helen Clay Frick: Stepping Out of Her Father's Shadow

Vermeer, Monet, Rembrandt: Forging the Frick Collections in Pittsburgh and New York has provided an unprecedented opportunity to shine a light on Henry Clay Frick's indomitable daughter, Helen Clay Frick, and her critical role in forming both The Frick Collection and The Frick Pittsburgh. Inge Reist will provide an overview of Helen's evolution from a curious child visiting museums and artist studios with her parents to the eminent collector and museum trustee she grew into as an adult. Laura Engel interrogates the professional and personal relationship between Helen and esteemed artist, Malvina Hoffman, and addresses the difficulty in uncovering queer identities and narratives of the past. Sylvia Rhor Samaniego and Alex Taylor provide new insights into the schism between Helen and the University of Pittsburgh, the original intended home of the Frick Pittsburgh Collection.

Chair, Dawn Brean Reid, The Frick Pittsburgh

Helen Clay Frick's Legacy as a Daughter, Collector, Art Historian, and Philanthropist

Inge Reist, Independent Scholar

"Destroyed by H. F.": Reconsidering Malvina Hoffman's Portrait Bust of Helen Clay Frick (1919)

Laura Engel, Duquesne University

Title Coming Soon

Sylvia Rhor Samaniego, University Art Gallery and Alex Taylor, University of Pittsburgh

11:15 a.m. – Coffee Break

11:45 a.m. – New Directions: Collecting and Creating Art in the Gilded Age

While many museums in the United States, including The Frick Collection and The Frick Pittsburgh, are deeply indebted to women collectors and founders, few scholars have historically studied women as serious cultural agents and collectors in their own right. Margaret Laster's presentation provides an overview of individual women collectors during the gilded age, the character of their collection, and the insights we can learn from broadening our scope to include women. Samantha Deutsch compares the relationship between the notorious dealer, Knoedler & Co., Henry Clay Frick, and Mildred Anna Williams. Finally, Manon Gaudet's research interrogates the perceived audience for Rookwood Pottery's series of ceramics depicting known Indigenous figures.

Chair, Lauryn Smith, The Frick Pittsburgh

Adelaide HC Frick: Fortifying the Legacy of Henry Clay Frick

Margaret Laster, Independent Scholar

Knoedler & Co.: A Tale of Two Collections

Samantha Deutch, Frick Art Reference Library

Decorative Displacement: Ethnographic Photography and the Rookwood Pottery Company

Manon Gaudet, Yale University

1:30 p.m. – Symposium Conclusion

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