Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, April 6 – October 25, 2015
Nicolas M. Salgo was fascinated by the art of the goldsmith in Hungarian culture and built up a large and varied collection of Hungarian silver over three decades. He offered his collection to the Metropolitan Museum, which accepted most of it into its holdings. This exhibition includes the major part of the donation, supplemented by other pieces in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that serve to contextualize the Salgo donation.
As curator Wolfram Koeppe has phrased it: “This large collection of silver—about 120 pieces, most dating from the fifteenth to the late eighteenth century—comprises a variety of types with especially refined appearance and high levels of craftsmanship, representing Hungarian silver at its best. The earliest works in the Salgo Collection are two rare medieval chalices ornamented with colorful filigree enamel. The intriguing shapes, inventive decoration, and historical importance of the objects—products of once-prosperous local aristocratic dynasties—make this ensemble exceptional. As a result of this generous gift, the Metropolitan Museum is now the only museum outside Hungary to possess such an array of sumptuous goldsmiths’ work from the region.”