NYC: The Frick Collection
Just realized I never actually posted this item I wrote while in NYC last week, just saw it lurking in a draft folder . . .
If you like the mansions in Newport or the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, you will love visiting The Frick. The wonderful European art on display seems like a bonus. Located on 5th Avenue, across from Central Park, I don’t know how I never tuned into this beautiful building before.
Finished in 1914, the home was built on property that once housed the Lenox Library, behind the property was a chicken farm. Henry Frick bequeathed his home and art collection so the public would always have access, and after the death of his wife, it opened to the public in 1935.
Much of the furniture is in place and the art is hung as it would have been in the home, eye level and without barriers. It’s wonderful and intimate; a very relaxing way to enjoy such beautiful old masters. Frick like beauty and avoided art that was violent or disturbing, so there is an emphasis on portraits and landscapes. At the moment there is a major exhibition of Van Dyke’s work.
Of course, visitors can’t take pictures, so you will have to go on-line for details, but I enjoyed the Van Dykes as well as paintings by Vermeer, Degas, Velazquez, Reuben, Taylor, Rembrandt and many, many more. Not to mention the gorgeous carpets, Limoges enamels, bronzes, porcelains and French furniture. At the grand stairway, you can look up and see the massive organ installed in the home. Frick employed his own organist who performed concerts twice a week. There are plans underway to restore the upper floors and eventually allow visitors.
You are truly transported to the Gilded Age during a visit to The Frick.
Details: A free audio tour is available. Docents give presentations several times a day about the history of the Fricks and the home, as well as how the collection was put together. There is also a short movie that explains much of the same information.
The small gift shop has a terrific selection of art books, as well as a nice assortment of specialty items.
The Frick is open six days a week (closed on Mondays), and due to the accessibility of the art, does not allow children under 10. Hours: Tue – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM; Sundays 11 AM – 5 PM. Adults $20; seniors $15; students $10. Sunday from 11 AM – 1 PM pay what you wish.