WHAT: Chesterwood, in collaboration with The National Arts Club Roundtable, inaugurates the Daniel Chester French Lecture Series with One of the Greatest Interests of His Life: Daniel Chester French and The Metropolitan Museum of Art with guest speaker, Dr. Thayer Tolles, Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
WHEN: Tuesday, September 15 at 6 p.m. Admission is free of charge. A reception with cash bar will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. Pre-register by contacting Lisa Reynolds at email@example.com or 413-298-3579, x2034
WHERE: The National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, New York
ABOUT: Daniel Chester French arrived in New York City for artistic training in 1870, the same year that The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded. Over the coming decades, the sculptor and the museum established themselves as leaders in the production and collection of art respectively French is well recognized for such New York monuments as Alma Mater at Columbia University and The Continents for the Customs House at Bowling Green, but lesser known is his remarkable contribution of time and talent to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
This lecture will explore French’s pivotal role in the formation of the Metropolitan’s modern sculpture collection during his nearly three-decade tenure as a trustee, with special attention to works in the collection by Auguste Rodin, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Paul Manship, and French himself.
Dr. Thayer Tolles is the Marica F. Vilcek Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A sculpture specialist, she served as editor and co-author of a two-volume catalogue of the Metropolitan’s historic American sculpture collection (1999, 2001). Among her exhibitions are Augustus Saint-Gaudens in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2009) and The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 (2013-15), both accompanied by publications. She participated in extensive ongoing renovations to the Metropolitan’s American Wing between 2001 and 2012, reinstalling the sculpture in the Charles Engelhard Court and the second-floor galleries.
Sponsors of the Daniel Chester French Lecture Series include Gordon and Carole Hyatt, Kaese & Lynch Architecture and Engineering LLP, Helga S. Orthofer, and Taylor | Graham.
Image caption: Daniel Chester French in his studio at 125 West 11th Street, New York, NY, ca. 1890. Chapin Library, Williams College, Gift of the National Trust for Historic Preservation / Chesterwood, a National Trust Historic Site, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, NT 69.38.1313.1
Chesterwood, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French is best known for his sculptures of the Minute Man (1871-75) and the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln (1911-22) for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Situated on 122 acres in the idyllic hamlet of Glendale near Stockbridge, Mass., the property and its buildings were donated to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by French’s only child Margaret French Cresson (1889-1973). Chesterwood is recognized as both a National Historic Landmark and a Massachusetts Historic Landmark. 4 Williamsville Rd., Stockbridge, Mass. (413) 298-3579. www.chesterwood.org