Collecting sculpture throughout the ages: princely Kunstkammer, public museums and private collections
17.00 - 18.00, 6 JULY 2020
A discussion around the origins and impetuses of collecting from Imperial and Courtly collections, to Kunstkammer "rooms of curiosity", to modern-day collecting. Museums such as the Bargello in Florence have their origins based on Courtly Collections of the Medici and the della Rovere and such collections influenced the taste that radiated throughout Europe, with every Court scrambling to compete. Artists and sculptors gained position and power as their art became the currency of large-scale political negotiations. The private collector was born out of these original Florentine courtly collections. As early as the first quarter of the 16th century we begin to see the influence of the Courtly collector spread to the merchant classes where artists would accept commissions from a population-driven purely by aesthetic, pleasure and status. Kunstkammer were microcosms of natural beauty for contemplation and debate, providing visual and psychological escape and intellectual nourishment.
Moderated by Luke Syson, our esteemed panellists will discuss the challenges in collecting three-dimensional art and the inherent rewards of living with sculpture and objects. We consider the type of person who embarks on the collecting journey, the decisions they face before finally discovering the excitement of the three-dimensional world of art.
The panel discussion will start with an introduction from Alexandra Toscano, Vice-Chair of London Art Week.
Moderator: Luke Syson, Director and Marlay Curator, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
Luke Syson is the fourteenth Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum. From 2012-19, he was Chairman of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, where he led on the complete refurbishment of the British Galleries, a $22m project, planned to open in January 2020. Luke has held curatorial positions at the British Museum, V&A and the National Gallery - where he led the successful campaign to acquire Raphael's Madonna of the Pinks for the nation and curated the highly-acclaimed exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci - Painter at the Court of Milan in 2011.
Katherine Zock, Vice President and Director, Friends of the Bargello
Katherine completed her MA degree in Renaissance Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London. For the past 20 years, Katherine has specialised in the Renaissance to Baroque, working first as a researcher for the Daniel Katz Gallery. Her exposure, predominately to European sculpture during those years at the gallery, inspired a personal concentration in this area. And in 2004, Katherine began work as a private advisor to collectors and institutions, where her specialist responsibilities encompass various areas beyond that of sourcing works of art; including all aspects of educating and collection management. Katherine is the dedicated Vice President and Director of The Friends of the Bargello, a non for profit foreign support group committed to raising the profile and encouraging support for the Museo del Bargello in Florence; the world's most important collection of Italian Sculpture.
Marc Plonskier, Trustee, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and member of its Collection Committee
Marc Plonskier's passionate and philanthropic involvement within the arts is broad, as reflected in his own collection, spanning the early Renaissance through Modern; and includes paintings, sculpture and works of art. Marc's integrity as a collector is at first instinctive, and then forensic in his academic curiosity and personal research, and his agility in both areas has contributed invaluably to a collection that is as exquisite as it is art historically important. Marc Plonskier is currently a Trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and a member of its Collection Committee. Previously, Marc has held Trustee positions at both the Danforth Art Museum (Framingham, MA) and the Worcester Art Museum (Worcester, MA), and Chaired the Master Plan Committee at Worcester Art Museum during the inception of a major expansion project.
Georg Laue, Georg Laue Kunstkammer Ltd and London Art Week participant
Georg Laue is an art historian, a curator, and a second-generation art dealer. In 1997, he founded the Kunstkammer Georg Laue in the Munich's museum district and has specialized in Kunstkammer objects, sculpture and works of art from the Renaissance and Baroque period, acting as a curator with museums as well as collectors and galleries. Academic research has always been of prime importance for Georg Laue who founded his own publishing house in 1999 and has since then produced more than fifteen books, all devoted to different themes surrounding the topic of the Renaissance Kunstkammer. Since 2014, Georg Laue has also been based in London with his Kunstkammer Ltd.