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Description: Johann Christian Neuber was one of Dresden's most famous goldsmiths. Sometime before 1775 he was named court jeweler to Friedrich Augustus III, elector of Saxony, and in 1785 he was appointed Curator of the Grunes Gewolbe (Green Vault), the magnificent royal collection of Augustus the Strong, the founder of the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory. For more than thirty years, Neuber created small gold boxes, chatelaines, and watchcases decorated with local semiprecious stones such as agate, jasper, and carnelian. He fashioned enchanting landscapes, complex floral designs, and geometric patterns with tiny cut stones, often incorporating Meissen porcelain plaques, cameos, and miniatures. These one-of-a-kind objects, which reflect the Saxon court's interest in both luxury items and the natural sciences, remain prized treasures today, but have never before been shown together in a monographic exhibition.
The exhibition aims to shed light on the master's transformative contribution to this art form, incorporating the results of newly performed technical research to answer questions about the dating of Antico's works, his technique, and his development as an innovative artist. Jointly organized by the National Gallery of Art and The Frick Collection, the exhibition opened in the fall of 2011 in Washington, D.C., before traveling to New York City the following spring. The exhibition is curated by Eleonora Luciano, Associate Curator of Sculpture at the National Gallery of Art, in collaboration with Denise Allen, Curator at The Frick Collection. The accompanying catalogue is written by an international team of scholars including Eleonora Luciano, Denise Allen, and Claudia Kryza-Gersch, Curator of Italian Sculpture at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. It will be the first independent monograph in English to focus on the artist and the first comprehensive presentation of his works in color.