Salvaging the Past: Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts

04 April 2013 - 11 August 2013

The Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (BGC) presents Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts.

Focusing on a remarkable but little-known collection that entered the Metropolitan Museum as a gift of J. Pierpont Morgan in the early twentieth century, the exhibition features more than 200 objects of primarily medieval art and French eighteenth-century paneling, furniture, metalwork, textiles, paintings, and sculpture, as well as late nineteenth-century art pottery, most of which have rarely been viewed since the 1950s. The fourth in a series of collaborations between The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the BGC, the exhibition provides the first comprehensive examination of Georges Hoentschel—a significant figure in the history of collecting—and illuminates an understudied and critical chapter of the Metropolitan’s history.

Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue edited by Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, Deborah L. Krohn, and Ulrich Leben. Through scholarly essays, early documentary photographs, and images of newly conserved works, the book considers various aspects of Hoentschel’s life in Parisian social and artistic circles of the time and his career as a successful businessman, ceramist, and designer who was instrumental in exporting French taste abroad. New research documents many of Hoentschel’s clients and commissions placing him and his collection in a larger social and historical context. Extensive research and discoveries made during conservation treatments for this exhibition are outlined in entries about the individual objects.

Bard Graduate Center, New York 03/04/13 – 11/08/13

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