Housed in the Fifth Avenue mansion of Henry Clay Frick, the Frick Collection offers visitors the unique opportunity to view his personal collection within the walls of his former residence. From famous pieces by Renoir and Rembrandt to period furniture and sculptures, a visit to the Frick is a chance at an inside view of the life of wealthy Fifth Avenue residents in New York City.
About The Frick Collection:
The Fifth Avenue Mansion housing the Frick Collection was built in 1913-1914 for Henry Clay Frick, a successful steel and coke industrialist. A longtime patron of the arts, Frick's collection includes a diverse collection of Western painting, sculpture, and decorative arts. What is most impressive about a visit to the Frick is the opportunity to see the art arranged in the mansion. Many pieces are still on display where Frick had originally displayed them.
You can also see the rooms where Frick, his wife Adelaide, and his daughter lived. Their bedrooms were located on the second floor of the building, spaces that are now galleries. Twenty-seven servants lived on the third floor (it's easy to imagine how big this mansion is!)
The building itself is quite spectacular. While it was a private home it was built so it could also serve as a public museum and institution. The original property had two galleries (the Oval Room and East Gallery), a music room, and a garden court. Those all remain today. Decades later a new reception hall, two new galleries, and the portico were added on to the mansion.
What to See: Frick Collection Highlights
The museum is particularly known for its distinguished Old Master paintings. Its permanent collection contains paintings by William Hogarth, Francois Boucher, and Agnolo Bronzino. Note that not all of them are display at any time. If you are interested in seeing a particular painting consult the website, which will tell you if the painting can be seen by the public during your visit.
- The Comtess d'Haussonville, 1845, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
- The Forge, ca. 1817, Francisco Goya
- Self-Portrait, 1658, Rembrandt
- Mother and Children, ca. 1876-78, Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Sir Thomas More, 1527, Hans Holbein the Younger
- The Purification of the Temple, ca. 1600, El Greco
- Zephyrus and Flora, 1799, Clodion (Claude Michel)
The museum regularly hosts lectures and talks, concerts, and salon evenings. Check the website for the complete schedule. The museum also hosts pay-what-you want drawing and sketching classes for students of all ages.
The first Friday of the month (except in January and September) museum admission is free. In addition to being able to browse the permanent and special exhibitions, you can also hear lectures, see dance and music performances, and try your skills at sketching your own works of art. It's especially fun in the summer when you can venture into the garden.
Things to Know Before Your Visit
The Frick Collection's policy on children (no visitors under 10, and those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult) enables adult visitors to have an intimate experience with the various pieces of art in the collection. Very few items are displayed behind glass, and it is easy to get close to nearly everything in the collection. Displaying the pieces in this way would be impossible if young children were allowed in the museum, as the chance of disaster would be far too high.
The audio tour is included with the cost of admission, and offers a wealth of insight into the paintings, sculpture, furniture and the mansion itself. Using the audio tour to learn more about pieces of interest, a visit to the Frick's permanent collection can take about 2 hours. The Frick also has frequently changing temporary exhibitions.
If you are someone who wants to pack a lot into our visit, consider planning your trip ahead of time with the virtual museum map available on the website. Then you can find the exact pieces of art you are looking for.
Location and Contact Info
- Address:1 East 70th Street (at 5th Avenue)
- Phone: 212-288-0700
- Subway: 6 to 68th Street
- Official Website: http://www.frick.org/