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Salvaging the Past: Georges Hoentschel and French Decorative Arts from The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Out of Print, Digital (Free PDF Download)

Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide, Deborah L. Krohn, and Ulrich Leben, editors

Georges Hoentschel (1855–1915) was a leading French interior designer in historic styles, head of a decorating firm, and ceramicist during the Belle Epoque. He found inspiration for his designs in medieval and 18th-century French art, which he avidly collected, amassing more than 4,000 pieces of furniture, woodwork, metalwork, sculpture, paintings, and textiles. After visiting Hoentschel in Paris, the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan acquired the collection and bequeathed it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1906 and 1916–17. These works greatly enriched the museum’s medieval art department and became the nucleus of its decorative arts department, profoundly influencing American tastes in the early 20th century. Through texts, early documentary photographs, and images of newly conserved works, Salvaging the Past goes behind the scenes to explore the history and influence of this remarkable collection.

Table of Contents

Susan Weber

Thomas P. Campbell

Nicole Hoentschel

Editor's Acknowledgement

Editor's Note and Catalogue Contributors

Deborah L. Krohn

Chapter 1. The Hoentschel Collection Comes to New York
Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide

Chapter 2. Georges Hoentschel and His World
Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide and Ulirch Leben

Chapter 3. Interiors by Georges Hoentschel: Salvaging Fragments of a Lost World
Ulrich Leben

Chapter 4. Cataloguing Hoentschel in Word and Image
Deborah L. Krohn

Eighteenth-Century Collection
Catalogue Numbers 1-127

Chapter 5. Hoentschel's Gothic Importance
Christine E. Brennan

Medieval Collection
Catalogue Numbers 128-162

Chapter 6. The Union Centrale des Arts Décoratifs Pavilion, Art Nouveau, and the Fin de Siecle
Amy F. Ogata

Chapter 7. "All Beautiful in Form and Delicious in Color": Hoentschel and Ceramics
Daniëlle Kisluk-Grosheide

Circa 1900
Catalogue Numbers 163-202

Maison Leys Inventory, 1887
Maison Leys Client List, 1887
Maison Leys Inventory, 1892
Maison Leys Client List, 1892
Steiglitz Museum Commission, 1901
"Georges Hoentschel by Arsène Alexandre, 1919

Photographic Credits

Other Details


Publication Date

Digital PDF