Gothic Art in the Gilded Age: Medieval and Renaissance Treasures in the Gavet-Vanderbilt-Ringling Collection
In American museums today, whole collections can be hidden in plain view. Such has been the case with the Gavet-Vanderbilt-Ringling collection -- a remarkable ensemble owned successively by Emile Gavet, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont, and John Ringling. Among its treasures are sculpture, paintings, furniture, ceramics, watches, cameos, wax miniatures, and metalwork from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Together, these objects speak to a rich and varied taste which extends from the sacristies and princely studies of Europe to the private galleries of French dealers in the nineteenth century to the salons of gilded age America, and finally to its art museums. Dispersed throughout the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art's exquisite galleries and the rooms of John and Mable Ringling's Venetian-style mansion, Cà d'Zan, individual pieces from this collection have been admired for decades by visitors from around the world. Yet, their collective heritage had been lost.
This exhibition reunites this family of objects, not only in the Ringling Museum's special exhibition galleries, but also in their first American home. Reassembled in the Gothic Room of Marble House at Newport, Rhode Island, the collection will return to a setting that celebrates both the architectural genius of Richard Morris Hunt and the imagination of his patrons, Mr.. and Mrs.. William K. Vanderbilt. The catalog and exhibition extend our understanding of the collection even further to the Gothic-style Parisian apartment of Emile Gavet, where these magnificent objects were first assembled in the waning decades of the nineteenth century.
Hardcover, 214 pages
by Virginia Brilliant