Frick museum's new book project pairs art with essays by Hilary Mantel, James Ivory

Novelist Hilary Mantel.
Novelist Hilary Mantel.
Edmund de Waal.
Edmund de Waal.

NEW YORK • Novelist Hilary Mantel, film-maker James Ivory and artist and author Edmund de Waal are among the first participants in Frick Diptychs, a new series of small books to be published by the museum that pair masterworks from the Frick Collection with critical and literary essays.

The Frick, a museum known for its old master paintings and European objets d'art, announced on Monday that the series would begin in April next year and that each edition would feature one work of art, an essay by a curator and another written piece by an artist or writer.

Mr Ian Wardropper, the museum's director, said in a statement: "This new series sparks a dialogue in essay form between creative spirits and art historians, promising fresh insights into some of the Frick's best-known masterworks."

A 1527 Hans Holbein's portrait of the humanist and author Sir Thomas More - one of the Frick's most famous paintings - will be the subject of the first instalment.

Mr Xavier Solomon, the museum's chief curator, will write the essay. Mantel, who won back- to-back Man Booker Prizes for her historical novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, will be the book's featured writer.

Future instalments are to include Vermeer's Mistress And Maid (1666-1667), with a piece by Ivory - half of the film-making duo Merchant Ivory Productions, best known for lush adaptations of E.M. Forster books such as Howards End (1992) and A Room With A View (1985).

De Waal, whose book The White Road explored his love of porcelain, will contribute an essay to a Frick Diptychs book about a pair of porcelain and bronze candlesticks by 18th-century French metalworker Pierre Gouthiere.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 26, 2017, with the headline 'Frick book project pairs art with essays'. Print Edition | Subscribe