Charles Ryskamp (1928–2010) served as the Director of The Frick Collection from 1987 to 1997. Under his leadership the Frick underwent a profound evolution and embarked on a new era of growth and innovation within the arts. In conjunction with the exhibition A Passion for Drawings, this lecture will explore the fascinating life, letters and collecting interests of this remarkable scholar, teacher, connoisseur, and collector through the magnificent drawings he bequeathed to the Frick."
Matthew Hargraves is Associate Curator for Collections Research and Head of Collections Information and Access at the Yale Center for British Art, where he has worked since 2005. A specialist in British art of the eighteenth century, he received his Ph.D. from The Courtauld Institute of Art in 2003 and has since published broadly on the art of the period, including a major study of Britain's first public exhibitions in the eighteenth century, as well as on English watercolors and on drawing practice across Europe. He worked closely with Charles Ryskamp on the exhibition Varieties of Romantic Experience, which was held at the Yale Center in 2010, bringing together two hundred works on paper from the Ryskamp collection and exploring Romanticism as an international phenomenon.
Works of art accumulated by an individual or institution. Such collections were made in the earliest civilizations; precious objects were stored in temples, tombs, sanctuaries, and palaces. A taste for collecting per se developed in Greece (4th1st century BC). The great art collections of the world grew out of private collections formed by royalty, aristocracy, and the wealthy. By the 18th century, collectors were donating their holdings to the public and constructing buildings to house them (e.g., the Louvre Museum, Uffizi Gallery). Wealthy industrialists in the U.S. played a prominent role in the 19th20th century, and an unprecedented flow of masterpieces from Europe soon filled U.S. museums.