NEW YORK, NY.-
The Board of Trustees of The Frick Collection
announced the appointment of Ian Bruce Wardropper as the next Director of the institution. Mr. Wardropper, currently Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will take up the post as of October 3, 2011, with the retirement of the Fricks Director of eight years, Anne L. Poulet. Wardropper will be responsible for the overall vision of The Frick Collection, which includes the Frick Art Reference Library. Comments Margot Bogert, Chairman of the Board of Trustees,
We are delighted to welcome Ian Wardropper to The Frick Collection as its next Director. He comes to the institution with a significant and nuanced combination of experience as a scholar and curator in areas that relate beautifully to the holdings of the Frick. As an administrator over large collections and staffs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and previously at the Art Institute of Chicago, Ian Wardropper played an increasingly involved role―along with Trustees, Director, and Development colleagues―in the fundraising efforts required of large-scale projects, among them the multi-million dollar renovation of the former institutions Wrightsman Galleries in 2006-07. His top-down involvement in such successful and wellreceived initiatives, his relationships with collectors and donors, and his appreciation for the high standards and values espoused by the Frick, inspire great confidence in us today as we share this wonderful news.
Adds Wardropper, Since my earliest years as an art history graduate student in New York, The Frick for me has represented the highest standards of art display, research, and programs as well as the ideal institutional size in which to experience them. Decades later, it maintains this exemplary role, while expanding an impressive exhibition program, producing a rich body of publications and educational offerings, and furthering the Librarys already rich research initiatives and resources. With all of these observations in mind, I embrace the opportunity to join the Frick as its Director, all the more so, as I have found great satisfaction over the years in nurturing and supporting the activities of departmental and museum colleagues and in serving the larger agenda and mission. I look forward to the task of maintaining institutional excellence and the challenge of renewing its programs.
Currently at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Ian Wardropper holds the position of Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts; from 2001 to 2005, he was Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Curator in Charge of the same department, which consists of about 60,000 objects dating from the beginning of the Renaissance in the fifteenth century through the start of Modernism in the twentieth. Department holdings are divided between sixty galleries and period rooms as well as storage facilities. During this decade, he directed a major reinstallation of the Wrightsman Galleries of French Decorative Art, a partial redesign of the Annie Laurie Aitken Galleries of English Decorative Arts, a reinstallation of the Carroll and Milton Petrie Court, and a new presentation of the Italian Renaissance Bronzes Gallery. The creation of a department showcase, now endowed as the Wrightsman Exhibition Gallery, has reinvigorated its display program by featuring shows from the collection. He has encouraged curators to produce major exhibitions with notable successes in the fields of tapestry, sculpture, and decorative arts as well as innovative collaborations with the Costume Institute. Departmental acquisitions have notably strengthened. Under his direction, nine international symposia have been organized, a number of audio and other programs were developed in conjunction with the Education Department, and he was able to promote or hire five curators. Wardropper also served the museum as a member of various committees, among them the Directors Council (2005-08); Task Force on Efficiencies and Procedures: Head (2002); Grants (2002-05); Budget Planning (2007); Forum of Curators, Conservators, and Scientists: Chairman (2006-07) and delegate to the Board of Trustees (2007-08). Nationally, he has been a member of the NEA Advisory Panel on Indemnity (1998-2001) and Exhibitions (1993, 1998) and a trustee of the Association of American Museum Curators (2006-09); internationally, he is on an exhibition committee of the Reunion des Musees Nationaux (2010-the present). During his tenure, publications kept pace with the exhibition program, and several catalogues won awards; scholarly catalogues on Italian Renaissance bronzes and maiolica are under way; and five volumes of a series on department highlights are in process.
Wardropper spent nearly twenty years at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he held positions of increasing responsibility and scope. He was Eloise W. Martin Curator and Department Head, European Decorative Arts and Sculpture and Ancient Art (19892001); European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Associate Curator (198589); and European Painting and Sculpture, Assistant Curator (198285). While department head at the Art Institute, the collections under his responsibility grew to include ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art and the Harding Collection of Arms and Armor in addition to its core of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture from Medieval to the present. He participated in several major reinstallations, notably the Allerton Building Painting and Sculpture Galleries and the Rice Building Galleries of European Decorative Arts, as well as directing the creation of new Galleries of Ancient Art. Wardropper attracted a number of important collections to the museum, including the Alsdorf Collection of Renaissance Jewelry and Rosenthal Collection of nineteenth-century sculpture, both installed in endowed galleries. He negotiated three endowed curatorships, one for decorative arts, especially ceramics, one for ancient art, and a third now transferred to modern design. He also initiated a number of traveling exhibitions, on subjects ranging from Italian baroque terracottas from the Hermitage to Soviet propaganda porcelain, and installed many exhibitions, notably The Vatican Collections, in scope and attendance the largest exhibition at that point in the Institutes history.
A long and varied list of books and acclaimed exhibitions related catalogues developed during Ian Wardroppers tenures at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MMA) and the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). In Fall 2011 European Sculpture, 1400-1900, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art will appear, followed by in fall 2012 Bernini Models in Clay, an exhibition planned with the Kimbell Museum. Past volumes include Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from the Renaissance to Revolution (2008-09) Louvre, MMA, J. Paul Getty Museum (served on the organizing committee); Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietra Dure from the Palaces of Europe, MMA, 2008 (with Wolfram Koeppe and Annamaria Giusti), which Apollo Magazine named Exhibition of the Year; Dangerous Liaisons, MMA, 2004 (participating curator); Princely Splendor: The Dresden Court 1580-1620, MMA, Hamburg, Rome, 2004 (organizing committee); The Legacy of Michelangelo: The Medici and Late Renaissance Art, Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, AIC, Detroit Institute of Arts, 2002 (organizing committee); Bernini's Rome: Italian Baroque Terracottas from the State Hermitage, AIC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, 1997; Chiseled with a Brush: Italian Sculpture from the Gilgore Collection, AIC and Denver Art Museum, 1994; Medieval Art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago, Hermitage, Leningrad; Pushkin, Moscow, 1990 (co-curator with Timothy Husband).