CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

Memling’s portraits

Exhibition: 12 October - 31 December 2005

Hans Memling, Portrait of a man
with a coin of the Emperor Nero
(Bernardo Bembo)?
, c. 1473-4?,
panel, 31 x 23.2 cm.
Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, inv. nr. 5


Till-Holger Borchert, chief curator of the Groeningemuseum
Colin B. Bailey, chief curator of the Frick Collection
Tomàs Llorens, chief curator of the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
are coordinating the presentations at their respective institutions.

Museum press release, July 2005

The Frick Collection is the only museum in the United States to present this touring exhibition of paintings by the important Netherlandish artist Hans Memling (c. 1440–1494). The presentation of Memling’s Portraits in New York provides the most comprehensive overview undertaken of the artist’s successful career in portraiture, with a selection of more than twenty works by the master and his school, including portrait-wings from diptychs and triptychs along with autonomous panels of individual patrons. Nearly two-thirds of all of Memling’s recorded portraits are featured in this exhibition, which is considered to be an unprecedented viewing opportunity, and one unlikely to be repeated. Indeed, the exhibition, which not only illuminates the career of a Renaissance master, but also explores the function of portraiture in the Netherlands during the fifteenth century, has been a highlight of international museum calendars this year, having been met with critical acclaim at both of its European venues (last spring at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, and this summer at the Groeningemuseum, Bruges). The touring exhibition was co-organized by those institutions and the Frick. Its New York showing and final stop – running from October 12 through December 31, 2005 – is coordinated by Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey.


The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalogue published by Ludion that features essays by Till-Holger Borchert, Chief Curator of the Groeningemuseum (also the catalogue’s editor), Lorne Campbell, Paula Nuttall, and Maryan W. Ainsworth. It is available for $40 in English and French softcover editions through the Museum Shop of the Frick, the institution’s Web site (, and by calling +1 212 288 0700. This fall, the Frick presents a number of related free public lectures. As part of its celebrated concert series, a special joint concert-lecture event is offered.


Major funding for Memling’s Portraits has been provided by The Peter Jay Sharp Foundation, with generous support from Melvin R. Seiden in honor of Joseph Koerner, Meg Koster, and Leo Anselm Koerner. Additional support has been provided by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, The Council of The Frick Collection, The Helen Clay Frick Foundation, and the Fellows of The Frick Collection.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities.

This project is also supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.


Till-Holger Borchert, with contributions by Maryan W. Ainsworth, Lorne Campbell and Paula Nuttall, De portretten van Memling, edited by Marijke van der Glas and Paul van Calster
191 pp.
31 cm.
Dutch edition published in Ghent and Amsterdam by Ludion, the originating publisher of the co-editions.

ISBN 90-5544-544-4 hardbound
ISBN 90-5544-541-X softbound
French edition (Les portraits de Memling) published in Paris by Flammarion
ISBN 90-5544-545-2 (hardbound)
ISBN 90-5544-542-8 (softbound)
English edition (Memling’s portraits) published in New York by Abrams and in London by Thames and Hudson
ISBN 90-5544-560-6 (hardbound)
ISBN 90-5544-550-9 (softbound)

Other venues

Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza (15 February-15 May 2005)
Brugge, Groeningemuseum (8 June-4 September 2005)

Associated events

Five Dutch Days in the five boroughs of New York, 16-20 November 2005.

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