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Displaying items by tag: Gilded Age

The most sumptuous moment in America's Gilded Age is revealed through the work of some of its most noted design firms in Artistic Furniture of the Gilded Age at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The centerpiece of the three-part exhibition is the opulent Worsham-Rockefeller Dressing Room from the New York City house commissioned by art collector and philanthropist Arabella Worsham (later Huntington; ca. 1850-1924).

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1. One of the finest historic mansions from the Gilded Age. Is this Oconomowoc, WI or Newport, RI?

This 15,222-square-foot stunner on Wisconsin’s  pristine Lac La Belle is widely regarded as the finest mansion in the Midwest. Established in 1928, the thirty-room estate is located in Oconomowoc -- a swanky resort town that beckoned wealthy families from Chicago, St. Louis, and Milwaukee during the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. Known as Knollward, the mansion was the summer home of Marjorie Montgomery Ward Baker -- heiress to the Montgomery Ward mail order fortune. Built in the French Manor style, the home captures the glamour and sophistication of a bygone era. The estate’s provincial exterior features gabled roofs, dormers, cypress beams, and turreted outlines, while the opulent interiors are bursting with lavish touches such as walnut...

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When Henry Clay Frick set out to furnish his new residence at 1 East 70th Street, his intention was to replicate the grand houses of the greatest European collectors, who surrounded their Old Master paintings with exquisite furniture and decorative objects. With the assistance of the art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen, Frick quickly assembled an impressive collection of decorative arts, including vases, potpourris, jugs, and basins made at Sèvres, the preeminent eighteenth-century French porcelain manufactory. Many of these objects are featured in the upcoming exhibition "From Sèvres to Fifth Avenue," which presents a new perspective on the collection by exploring the role Sèvres porcelain played in eighteenth-century France, as well as during the American Gilded Age. While some of these striking objects are regularly displayed in the grand context of the Fragonard and Boucher Rooms, others have come out of a long period of storage for this presentation. These finely painted examples will be seen together in a new light in the Portico Gallery.

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Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery are acquiring the Meserve-Kunhardt Collection, one of the nation’s most historically significant photographic collections and the definitive assemblage of portraits of Abraham Lincoln.

“With this remarkable acquisition, Yale has secured its place as the premier institution for the study of American photography from the Civil War to the Gilded Age,” says Yale President Peter Salovey. “I am delighted that faculty, students, and scholars from around the country and around the globe will have the opportunity to study this collection, learn from it, and share that knowledge.”

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Despite the sometimes irreconcilable differences that culminated in the Civil War (1861-65), Newport and other Northern cities maintained close social, economic, cultural, and artistic ties with the South from the Colonial period through the Gilded Age. The 2015 Newport Symposium, North and South: Crosscurrents in American Material Culture, invites a fresh look at regional differences in American furnishings, silver, textiles, painting, architecture, and interiors to reveal the complex exchange of ideas and enduring influences.

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On Monday, January 5, 2015, Newport, Rhode Island’s Zoning Board of Review released its 4-1 decision in favor of a controversial visitor center planned for the grounds of The Breakers, a Gilded Age mansion built for the Vanderbilts. Many neighbors, preservationists, and descendants of the Vanderbilts, including the designer Gloria Vanderbilt, have voiced their opposition to the center, stating that it would detract from the integrity of the historic landmark.

The magnificent seaside mansion is owned and operated by the Preservation Society of Newport County, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the area's finest architecture, decorative arts, landscape, and social history.

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014 11:16

Knoedler Gallery’s Stock Books are Now Online

The Getty Research Institute has launched an expanded dealer stock book database that provides free online access to almost 24,000 records created from the Knoedler Gallery painting stock books. Books 1 through 6, dating from 1872 to 1920, are available now; stock books 7 through 11 will be added soon.

Knoedler Gallery in New York was a central force in the evolution of an art market in the U.S. This newly enhanced database can be used to reconstruct the itineraries of thousands of paintings that crossed the Atlantic during the Gilded Age—including many that ended up in major American museums.

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New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission would do well to turn down the Frick Collection’s proposed expansion, which imagines replacing a prized garden on East 70th Street in Manhattan with a clumsy addition. The city should avoid another self-inflicted wound, and there are other options.

The plan, announced last month, ran into early headwinds. New Yorkers have seen the consequences of trustee restlessness and real estate magical thinking, which destroy or threaten to undo favorite buildings. Not so long ago, the Morgan Library & Museum, another Gilded Age landmark, built an addition that flopped. The New York Public Library wanted to disembowel its historic building at 42nd Street before thinking better of it.

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It’s time again to thank Messrs. ­Carnegie, Frick, Warburg, Vanderbilt, Morgan & Co. The plutocrats of the last Gilded Age left us unfathomable architectural treasures that we cherish and fight over but are still not sure how to care for. They erected houses, museums, and libraries in the form of temples and Renaissance palazzos, great hunks of ornate stone, carved wood, and intricate parquet, anthologies of precious materials and medieval craft. Some have been lost; touch what’s left and we get angry, alter them and we despair. As Manhattan keeps remaking itself, one shuttered shoe-repair store and vanished brownstone at a time, these ornate piles endure—the Frick, the Cooper Hewitt, the Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum, each with its tribe of passionate loyalists.

None of them is pristine. From the beginning, they experienced decades of fitful renovation, and their occupants still keep bursting through walls. There’s never enough space. Some institutions wear their history more lightly, or have the luxury of starting fresh.

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This spring, Huguette Clark’s collection of musical instruments, Gilded Age furniture and rare books will be sold at Christie’s. The trove of approximately 400 objects is expected to bring over $50 million and will be divided among two sales in May and June. Before the auction in New York, highlights from the collection will go on view at Christie’s London and then at various locations throughout Asia.

Huguette was the daughter of U.S. Senator and copper tycoon, William A. Clark. Beginning in 1930, Huguette led a largely reclusive life and when she passed away in 2011, she left behind an estate worth nearly $300 million. The proceeds from the upcoming auction will go to the estate, which will most likely be distributed between art institutions and distant relatives.

In 2012, 17 pieces of jewelry from Clark’s collection were sold at Christie’s including a rare pink 9-carat diamond that fetched approximately $21 million, nearly twice its pre-sale estimate.

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