Masterpieces of French Faience: Selections from the Sidney R. Knafel Collection

Exhibition Overview


Frick Masterpieces

Platter, Nevers, ca. 1660−70.

This fall an exhibition at The Frick Collection will debut an important promised gift of French faience from the holdings of Sidney R. Knafel, who, over a fifty-year period, developed one of the world’s finest and most comprehensive such private collections in the world. The seventy-five objects included in the gift will be shown in the Frick’s daylit Portico Gallery. Together, they will tell the fascinating and complex history of an aspect of European decorative arts that warrants greater attention. The exhibition, which is organized by Decorative Arts Curator Charlotte Vignon, will be accompanied by a catalogue published in hard and softcover editions by the Frick, in association with D Giles Ltd.

Comments Ian Wardropper, “We are immensely grateful to Sid and his wife Londa for being such generous friends and benefactors of the Frick, and especially to Sid for allowing us to present so many pieces—comprising his promised gift to the Frick—from his exceptional collection. Our ceramics holdings have grown in importance in recent years, especially in porcelain, so we are particularly pleased to display such a marvelous representation of the great variety and creativity of French faience. Adds Vignon, “Faience was largely commissioned by a local regional aristocracy, and the result is another wonderful chapter in the history of ceramics that developed quite apart from the centers of political power and artistic innovation in Versailles and Paris. While our holdings in ceramics trace their origins to Henry Clay Frick’s interest over one-hundred years ago in Chinese and Sèvres porcelain, the institution has never before exhibited such a large and impressive body of faience. We are delighted to illuminate this complementary topic through such a distinguished gathering of works and a related publication.”

(Image courtesy of the Frick Collection, Photo: Michael Bodycomb)

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