Symposium: Hoentschel in Context

On April 18 and 19, the Bard Graduated Center hosted an international symposium of scholars and conservators that examined the Hoentschel collection from The Metropolitan Museum of Art in the context of the history of collecting in France and America. It was organized in conjunction with the exhibition Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on view at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery from April 4 through August 11, 2013.

In April 1906, the celebrated Parisian decorator Georges Hoentschel (1855-1915) sold his French eighteenth-century panelling, seat furniture, painted overdoors, assorted objects, and medieval art to the powerful New York financier and collector J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913). Morgan, then president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, presented the eighteenth-century objects immediately to the Museum but initially only offered to lend the earlier artworks. These were later donated by his son Jack Morgan in 1916. Hoentschel was also involved in the contemporary art world of his day, designing an Art Nouveau pavilion for the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900, as well as intriguing stoneware vessels. The Hoentschel material constitutes one of the most significant collections from the early period of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The exhibition at the Bard Graduate Center presents an unprecedented opportunity to explore its important role in disseminating the taste for eighteenth-century and Medieval French art in the United States.

Speakers included Ulrich Leben, Research Scholar at the Bard Graduate Center; Flaminia Gennari-Santori, Consulting Curator, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, Florida; Deborah Krohn, Bard Graduate Center; Thomas Stammers, Lecturer in the Cultural History of Modern Europe, University of Durham; Anne Forray-Carlier, Chief Curator, Department of 17th and 18th Centuries, Musée des Arts Décoratifs; Evelyne Possémé, Chief Curator, Department of Art Nouveau, Art Déco, and Jewelry, Musée des Arts Décoratifs; Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Charlotte Vignon, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts, The Frick Collection; Vincent Bouvet, Head of Publication Department, École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris; Christina Hagelskamp, Mecka Baumeister, Nancy Britton, Beth Edelstein, and Pascale Patris, Sherman Fairchild Center for Objects Conservation, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 


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