The Frick: New York’s Most Elegant Museum Celebrates 75 Years

By Michael Bordenick of The Surrey
March 9, 2011 | New York, United States
The Frick: New York’s Most Elegant Museum Celebrates 75 Years

Every time I enter The Frick, I get this feeling that I’m some sort of 19th-century dignitary arriving for a private soiree. I love that sense of stateliness when strolling through the garden court, where I often stop to sit and marvel at the grand columns, fountain and arched skylight before moving on to view the collection.

Now celebrating its 75th anniversary as a museum, The Frick Collection is unique: Unlike its much larger neighbors like the Met, the Guggenheim and the Whitney, the focus here is on classical master works — all arranged in the same domestic setting that was Henry Clay Frick’s original Fifth Avenue home.

Along with Rembrandts, Goyas, Vermeers, and Whistlers, you will find a comprehensive collection of bronzes, and even period Edwardian/ Victorian rooms set up like old Mr. Frick might be coming home any moment.

Another tranquil view I adore is from the front library looking out on Fifth Avenue, way off in the distance. You don’t even hear the traffic, it’s so far away! How luxurious is that? You should also peer up the grand staircase and prepare to have your breath taken away by its intricacy.

Be sure to check out The Frick’s intimate lecture and seminar series, or one of their classical concerts (including the anniversary’s special concert season). FYI: Visitors to the museum on Sundays are invited to “pay what you wish.”

The one gripe I have is that they don’t Frick’n give tours of the famous family bowling alley in the basement, or the private rooms upstairs! Maybe one day?