Of all the venerated museums in New York, The Frick Collection stands out as a true gem. What makes The Frick so special is that when you walk inside, you enter the former home of one of America’s most successful industrialists, Henry Clay Frick. Frick was an icon – if not quite the king of art collecting, he was certainly one of its most distinguished trendsetters. Mr. Frick always had an eye for beauty and the pieces in his collection confirm him as a world-class collector – masterpieces by Vermeer, Velázquez, Goya, Van Dyck, Rembrandt, and El Greco adorn its mahogany walls. The Frick is one of the most impressive gatherings of art in New York City.
Ensconced in the West parlor of the mansion is the baronial “Living Space”. When you walk inside you can imagine the room being lived in – a curatorial quality you won’t feel in other museums. Above the fireplace hangs El Greco’s St. Jerome, surrounded by Titians and Bellinis. Accompanying these masterpieces are French eighteenth century furniture, Italian Renaissance bronzes, and Chinese porcelains representing a mélange of styles that effortlessly blend together to create an exquisite harmony.
The Frick Collection is a mansion with sixteen permanent galleries that are as stunning as the pictures that hang within. The building has been expanded to help fit the collection, yet even with the expansion each room is unique and superb. Unlike traditional museums, the Frick is airy, austere, and romantic. Built in 1913-14 from designs by the firm Carrère and Hastings, the house is set back from Fifth Avenue by an elevated garden punctuated by three magnificent magnolia trees. When you walk through its galleries the gentle sound of the fountain leaks into adjacent rooms. It’s blissful.
The special exhibitions scheduled annually at The Frick are not to miss; the curatorial staff at the museum never fails to fascinate. A visit to The Frick Collection – whether your first or fiftieth – is a wholly extraordinary adventure.
The Frick Collection
1 E. 70th Street
New York, NY 10021