Collecting in the Gilded Age
Three titans of industry and finance - Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon - have been long associated with Pittsburgh, philanthropy ... Show synopsis Three titans of industry and finance - Andrew Carnegie, Henry Clay Frick, and Andrew Mellon - have been long associated with Pittsburgh, philanthropy, and magnificent art. The European and American paintings that Frick and Mellon purchased during the Gilded Age today form the basis of museum collections known throughout the world. Yet they were only a few among many inspired art collectors in Pittsburgh. Hundreds of works can now be traced to private collections in Pittsburgh between 1890 and 1910. Scores of prominent families built collections ranging from a handful of paintings to refined holdings of works that necessitated the construction of art galleries in their palatial residences. The family names of Byers, Lockhart, Porter, Watson, Peacock, Oliver, and Thaw stand out among those collectors whose prized paintings have been dispersed over the decades, leaving behind mere hints of Pittsburgh's active role in the international art market. The complex mystery of which works of art comprised these collections is unraveled in this enlightening text. Paintings long thought lost have been rediscovered, and associations between Pittsburgh collectors and many of Europe's leading artists have been brought to light. Exceptional color reproductions attest to the beauty and diversity of paintings that enlivened the city's now-lost mansions. More than 120 period photographs, many never before published, present the graceful splendor that characterized Pittsburgh at the height of the Gilded Age. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Collecting in the Gilded Age: Art Patronage in Pittsburgh, 1890-1910, on view at the Frick Art & Historical Center, Pittsburgh.