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Frick Collection opens Precision and Splendor. Clocks and Watches

The Frick Collection opens Precision and Splendor. Clocks and Watches, an exhibition on view January 23, 2013 to February 2, 2014.

Mantel Clock with Study and Philosophy, movement by Renacle-Nicolas Sotiau (1749−1791), figures after Simon-Louis Boizot (1743–1809), c. 1785−90, patinated and gilt bronze, marble, enameled metal, and glass, H.: 22 inches, Horace Wood Brock Collection.

The Frick Collection has one of the most important public collections of European timepieces in the United States, much of it acquired through the 1999 bequest of the New York collector Winthrop Kellogg Edey. This extraordinary gift of thirty-eight watches and clocks dating from the Renaissance to the early nineteenth century covers the art of horology in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. For reasons of space, only part of the collection can be on permanent view in the museum’s galleries. In 2001, many pieces from the Edey collection were featured in The Art of the Timekeeper. Masterpieces from the Winthrop Edey Bequest, an exhibition organized at the Frick by guest curator William J. H. Andrewes. In 2013, visitors will have another opportunity to explore the breadth and significance of the Edey collection through an exhibition that presents fourteen watches and eleven clocks from his bequest.

The exhibition illustrates the stylistic and technical developments of timepieces from 1500 to 1830. Edey’s remarkable collection of Renaissance clocks is represented by a master work by Pierre de Fobis (see above) and his interest in watches by significant examples signed by George Smith, Henry Arlaud, Pierre Huaud, Julien Le Roy, Thomas Mudge, and Abraham-Louis and Antoine-Louis Breguet.

Also included in this presentation are five spectacular clocks on loan from Horace Wood Brock. Never before seen in New York City, they reflect the precision and splendor of the art of clockmaking in eighteenth-century France. This exhibition is organized by Charlotte Vignon, Associate Curator of Decorative Arts. –

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