The Frick Collection has announced a new series of books, Frick Diptychs. Each publication in the series will illuminate a single important work from the museum’s rich collection by juxtaposing an engaging, in-depth essay by a curator with a contribution from a contemporary cultural figure. Connecting the Old Masters with the masters of today, the series is designed to foster critical engagement and be of interest to the specialist and non-specialist alike. The subject of the inaugural volume of the series, to be published in April 2018, is Hans Holbein’s 1527 portrait of the humanist scholar, author, and statesman Sir Thomas More, one of the Frick’s most iconic paintings. The book will include an essay by Xavier F. Salomon, the Frick’s Peter J. Sharp Chief Curator, and a literary piece by Hilary Mantel, the recipient of the Man Booker Prize for her novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.
Future publications in the series will feature a diptych devoted to Johannes Vermeer’s remarkable Mistress and Maid and a volume on a spectacular pair of porcelain and gilt-bronze candlesticks by Pierre Gouthière, the great French eighteenth-century chaser-gilder who worked for an elite clientele, including Madame Du Barry. The Vermeer book will feature an essay by Peggy Iacono, Associate Research Curator at the Frick, and a piece by film director, writer, and producer James Ivory, known for movies including The Golden Bowl, The Remains of the Day, and A Room with a View. The volume on the candelabra will feature an essay by the Frick’s decorative arts curator, Charlotte Vignon, paired with a piece by the writer and artist Edmund de Waal, author of the family memoir The Hare with Amber Eyes and The White Road, which explores his obsession with porcelain.