The Frick Collection, New York, NY
Replication of Portico Gallery pendants, including museum accents concealed within the new historical fixtures.
The Portico Gallery was originally a covered walkway facing the Fifth Avenue lawn and was designed by Thomas Hastings, the architect of the mansion. In 2011 it was enclosed by glass to preserve the existing limestone walls, Ionic columns and ceiling to create an exhibition space for sculpture, ceramics and other decorative arts.
Six very complex historical pendants were replicated to perform very specific tasks in this limited room, with their counterparts mounted on the exterior, facing the Fifth Avenue Courtyard. A single existing pendant was disassembled for the purpose of cleaning and taking casting molds. Using French sand-casting methods, every metal decorative component matches the missing originals. The new fixtures lend a common experience inside and outside the gallery.
Finishes duplicate the existing patina, and all interior workings are hidden behind patterned opal glass diffusers to softly lighting the overall gallery. Performance and function were key, so additional small accent lamps are concealed within each to train on individual decorative objects displayed.
The pendant development involved working closely with the conservator and design group through a series of drawings and factory mockups, which facilitated all final decisions on glasses, metal and lamps.