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Frick Director Ian Wardropper receives Medal of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters
Ian Wardropper, director of The Frick Collection. Photo: Michael Bodycomb.
NEW YORK, NY.- On Monday, June 10, Ian Wardropper, Director of The Frick Collection, received the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in a private ceremony held during a reception at the museum. Antonin Baudry, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, officiated at the ceremony. The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) was created in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as individuals who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order is given out twice annually to only a few hundred people worldwide. Among the Americans who have received this award in the past are Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Judith Jamison, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman.

A specialist in European sculpture, decorative arts, and twentieth-century design and decorative arts, Ian Wardropper held key positions first at the Art Institute of Chicago and then at The Metropolitan Museum of Art before being named Director of The Frick Collection in 2011. At The Frick Collection, Wardropper co-curated last year’s Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Cristian Neuber at the Saxon Court, the first exhibition on the work of a remarkable eighteenth-century court goldsmith. On view now at the Frick is an exhibition featuring drawing and prints from French masters spanning the entire second half of the nineteenth century: The Impressionist Line from Degas to Toulouse-Lautrec: Drawings and Prints from the Clark. These works represent the diverse interests of Realist, Impressionist, and Post-Impressionist artists in a rapidly changing world. This fall, the Frick’s curatorial team will present David d’Angers: Making the Modern Monument and Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis. Under Wardropper, the Frick re-launched its Web site, Key features of the redesigned and expanded site include a new interactive virtual tour with access to information and zoomable images for works in the permanent collection and enhanced content in the areas of research, programs, and media. He also initiated a pilot program to live-stream the museum’s acclaimed lecture offerings, an effort that has dramatically expanded the reach of the institution’s educational offerings.

While at the Metropolitan Museum (where he was the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts), Dr. Wardropper played a critical role in arranging a loan of the Young Archer, a very early statue by Michelangelo, from the French Embassy to the Met Museum. Wardropper has been in charge of renovations of important permanent collection displays throughout his career, including the complete refurbishment and reinstallation of The Wrightsman Galleries for French Decorative Arts at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2006─07. Recent exhibitions he co-organized at the Met include Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure for the Palaces of Europe (2008) and Cast in Bronze: French Sculpture from Renaissance to Revolution (2009). Publications include European Sculpture, 1400–1900, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011), and Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (2012), a catalogue for an acclaimed exhibition at the Met and the Kimbell Art Museum.

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