The years between around 1880 and the outbreak of the Second World War were a golden age of international art dealing when, as a result of the break-up of the great collections of the European aristocracy and the rise of a new plutocracy with unprecedented buying power and a great appetite for art, extraordinary masterpieces came on to the art market in a way not seen since the Napoleonic era. Many of these found their way across the Atlantic into the hands of collectors such as Isabella Stewart Gardner, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew Mellon, and Arabella and Henry Huntington, whose collections were turned into private museums, or, in the case of Andrew Mellon, P.A.B Widener and Samuel Kress, laid the foundations of the great US public museums, passing through the hands of networks of dealers, decorators, advisers and other intermediaries.
Colnaghi’s two-day symposium in the gallery at 26 Bury Street will examine this extraordinary chapter in the history of the art market. Talks will draw upon the expertise of some of the most distinguished scholars in the field from the Getty Research Institute, the Warburg Institute, the Sorbonne and other leading academic institutions. Themes and topics to be explored will include the development of transatlantic art-dealing partnerships such as Knoedler and Colnaghi and the ways in which their businesses were financed through joint accounts; the role played by antique dealers Charles Duveen, Edouard Jonas and Jacques Seligmann, the architect Richard Morris Hunt and the furniture-making firm of Alfred Beurdeleys in supplying the furnishings for the plutocratic mansions of the Gilded Age; J.Pierpont Morgan as a collector of Italian gold-ground paintings; the taste for malachite in the Gilded Age; the career of William P Moore as a dealer in Asian art and the influence on the contemporary silver produced by Tiffany’s; Kenneth Clark’s role as an adviser to Calouste Gulbenkian; Buenos Aires in the Gilded Age; and dealing in and collecting ‘classic’ modern French art in the interwar period.
Please see the full programme here.
A limited number of tickets are available for in-person attendance, alongside online tickets. Both can be obtained through a donation to the Colnaghi Foundation. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. Pricing and payment details are as follows:
£45 per in-person attendee
£35 per in-person concessionary rate
£25 online full fee ticket
£15 online concession ticket
£80 per in-person attendee
£65 in-person concessionary rate
£35 online ticket
£25 online concession ticket.