Mathilde HK to Liang Yi Talks – July 8

You want to learn more about late XIX th century art collectors ?
You went to New York and liked the Frick Collection?
You are curious about Hotels Particuliers and private art collections?

On Tuesday, I went to the July Edition of the Liang Yi talks. Veronique Chagnon Burke, director of Christies’s Education, gave us a lecture on: ‘The Gilded Age of art Collectors’, an inquiry with 4 examples: The Isabella Steward Gardner Museum in Boston, The Wallace Collection in London, The Jacquemart-AndrĂ© Collection in Paris and The Frick Collection in New York. Those collections were built between 1890s and 1930s and perfectly reflect the definition of Gilded age created by Marc Twain. They illustrate both philanthropist and social purposes expressed by new Western fortunes, especially American business men.


The Wallace Collection – Hertford House, Manchester Square, London W1U 3BN, United Kingdom

I was very happy to listen to such a passionate professor. I must confess I went to those 4 museums several times, so I felt just like at home, especially concerning the Wallace, which was my studying place back in 2007-2008. I went to the talk thanks to my friends who mentioned those conferences to me. I met Tracy Wong at the lecture and was amused to count only 2 men in the room…Such monthly talks are free and embrace many different topics, do not hesitate joining!!!


The Fragonard room – The Frick Collection – 1 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021, United States

The interesting highlights:

It would be very difficult to select one specific collection among those four giants of Fine Arts and Decorative Arts. However, our lecturer distinguished two categories: the mansions in which both the collector and the pieces pursue an everyday life and the Collections on display in a museum specially tailor-made for them, where the owner never actually lived. She also made a difference between the educative mission of such private collections. Whereas The Frick collection had a strong academic concern, the Jacquard-Andre in France never considered opening any library or research department in their premises.


The Isabella Steward Gardner Museum – 25 Evans Way
Boston, MA 02115, United States

What I learned from it:

What I found very interesting is the way each collection was linked to music and concert experiences. Their owners created the museum’s layout in such a way the visitor would see beautiful things along with a touch of music. This was meant to lead the public to excellence and beauty, in a kind of moral education typical of the age of positivism.. What is also exciting is to consider what the two women and two men decided to collect. Another thing was the taste they all had: While the French collectors never look at their contemporaries, the impressionists and so on, the American collectors never acquired American works or pieces on American topics. The four Collections focus on Italian and Flemish Old Master paintings, XVIII th century Furniture and Decorative Arts. They do not display any chronological series and were designed to give an alternative to encyclopedic knowledge.


The oval room, The Jacquemart – Andre Museum- 158, bd Haussmann 75008 Paris, France

Topics and Keywords:

Solo: topics to focus on in that exhibition
Decorative Arts, Fine Arts, Louis XVI furniture, Bernard Berenson

Combo: On the same topic:

The Nissim de Camondo Collections

Liang Yi Talks: July Edition by Veronique Chagnon-Burke – Liang Yi Museum
8 July 2014
Ticket: free entry
20 seats only!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s