Spotlight on Sèvres

It’s said that when Henry Clay Frick was furnishing his new home (having moved into 1 E. 70th St. in Manhattan in 1916), his goal was to replicate the grand houses of Europe.

To that end – and aided by art dealer Sir Joseph Duveen – Frick assembled quite a collection of decorative arts, including many pieces made at Sèvres, the leading 18th-century French porcelain manufacturer.

Now, these impressive pieces are featured in “From Sèvres to Fifth Avenue: French Porcelain at The Frick Collection,” which has opened this week and continues through April 24 of next year.

The first exhibition in 35 years devoted to highlights of its Sèvres holdings, the Frick’s exhibition is designed to dazzle as it explores the company’s impact on French society of the day, as well as America’s Gilded Age.

Regular visitors to The Frick – the mansion was converted to a museum in the 1930s – will see some familiar “faces,” as some of the objects are routinely featured in the Fragonard and Boucher rooms, but others have come out of storage for this presentation in the Portico Gallery.

The show, organized by Charlotte Vignon, curator of decorative arts at The Frick Collection, will be accompanied by a wealth of public programming.

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— Mary Shustack

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