The Kimbell Art Museum buys Gian Lorenzo Bernini's terra cotta Model for the Fountain of the Moor.
The Moor goes on exhibit in Fort Worth. C.D Dickerson III, a Fort Worth native studying Rome's 17th-century sculptors, delivers a Bernini lecture at the Kimbell.
Dickerson completes his doctoral degree. T he Moor is sent to Boston for repairs by Tony Sigel, conservator of objects and sculpture at the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies at Harvard University.
Dickerson is hired by the Kimbell Art Museum as associate curator of European art. Immediately, he is sent to Boston to inspect the restored Moor. While there, he discusses the possibility of the Fogg Museum's collection of Bernini terra cottas being lent for an exhibition and gets a glimmer of hope.
Dickerson travels to Rome and checks out the Palazzo Venezia, the largest cache of Bernini terra cottas in Italy. He talks to the museum about co-hosting an exhibition. They decline. He makes the rounds of possible partner museums. All plead financial inability.
Dickerson is in New York in September and meets Ian Wardropper, chairman of the department of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Metropolitan museum, who says he is interested in participating in the Bernini exhibition.
Sigel also signs on to the project. The team of Dickerson, Wardropper and Sigel is set.
In January, Dickerson and Wardropper meet to talk about the practicalities and focus for a Bernini exhibition -- they feel that 15 to 20 lenders with 40 to 60 objects are the right numbers for an international exhibition.
In October, Wardropper and Dickerson approach Tom Campbell, director of the Met. He agrees that the Met will partner with the Kimbell.
Dickerson is promoted to curator of European art at the Kimbell.
Tentative dates for exhibition are set for 2012 at the Met and 2013 at the Kimbell but could be moved to the 2016 calendar. Dickerson travels to Cleveland to see a Bernini terra cotta.
In late January, Dickerson, Sigel, Wardropper and Kimbell director Eric Lee meet in Cambridge, Mass., at the Fogg, and that institution finally commits. It needs its terra cottas to return home in fall 2013. Exhibit dates are scheduled for fall 2012 in New York and spring 2013 in Fort Worth.
Dickerson travels to Venice and Bologna to look at terra cottas, then on to Florence to talk to Bernini scholars about contributing to the catalog.
In April, the team is in Rome, where they are scheduled to make their pitch to the Vatican museums, Villa Borghese and a private collector. Wardropper is stuck in London because of a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Dickerson and Sigel meet with a photographer and discuss photography needs for the catalog. On their last day, Sigel shows them the little-known Bernini at the Musee Horne in Florence.
June finds Dickerson back in Florence, then in Detroit with Sigel, inspecting Berninis.
In August, Russia embargoes all art loans.
From September to November, members of the team travel to Rome, London, Leipzig, Berlin and St. Petersburg to inspect Berninis and negotiate their loans. The embargo complicates things in St. Petersburg. The team has chosen three or four works there, but the embargo will block these efforts entirely.
The team meets in January with leaders at the Met to discuss the exhibition, catalog, installation, Web design and loan letters.
In April, they travel to France and then St. Louis, Mo., looking at possible Berninis.
Wardropper announces he is leaving the Met and will become director of the Frick Collection in New York.
In July, the team meets at Harvard to discuss compiling catalog entries with a 1,000-word technical report from Sigel and Dickerson's art history and aesthetic evaluations.
Beginning in July, Sigel, Wardropper and Dickerson will take a full year to write their multiple catalog entries and essays.
In August, Sigel flies to Fort Worth to make a film about Bernini's sculpting methods in clay.
Oct. 1 is press preview day at the Met for "Bernini: Sculpting in Clay." The reviews begin arriving three days later, timed to the opening of the exhibit. The New York Times calls it "a revelation."
In December, the Met hosts a scholars' day. None of the team's authentication work is challenged.
Feb. 3, 2013
"Bernini: Sculpting in Clay" opens in Fort Worth.