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Joy of Museums

Museums, Art Galleries and Historical Sites

Frick Collection

Frick Collection

Frick Collection

The Frick Collection is a small art museum with a collection of old master paintings and beautiful furniture housed in six galleries within a former New York mansion. The collection features some of the best-known paintings by major European artists, as well as works of sculpture and porcelain. In addition to the permanent collection, the Frick organises popular temporary exhibitions.

The Frick Collection is housed in the Henry Clay Frick House on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, New York City. It houses the collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. The collection is exhibited in nineteen galleries of varying size within the former residence. The collection features paintings by major European artists as well as numerous works of sculpture, porcelain and Oriental rugs. After Frick’s death, the collection was expanded half of the collection being acquired since 1919. The museum cannot lend the works of art that belonged to Frick, as stipulated in his will; however, artworks and objects acquired since his Frick’s death are loaned to other art museums.

Included in the collection are masterpieces by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Johannes Vermeer, Jacob van Ruisdael and Piero della Francesca.

Henry Clay Frick

Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) was an American industrialist, financier, union-buster, and art patron. He built the neoclassical Frick Mansion and upon his death donated his collection of old master paintings and furniture to create the Frick Collection.

A Tour of the Frick Collection

Highlights of the Frick Collection

  • “Saint Francis in the Desert” by Giovanni Bellini
    • “Saint Francis in the Desert” by Giovanni Bellini portrays Saint Francis of Assisi stepping out in the sun from his cave. Francis lived under poor conditions in the beginning and used to take part in private spiritual retreats at monasteries. The overall composition is thought to be a meditation of St. Francis, and although it has been cut down in size, the signature of  IOANNES BELLINVS on a small, creased tag is visible in the lower left corner.
  • “Sir Thomas More” by Hans Holbein the Younger
    • “Sir Thomas More” by Hans Holbein the Younger was created by Holbein shortly after he arrived in London. Holbein’s friend, the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, recommended that Holbein befriend More, who was then a powerful, knighted speaker at the English Parliament. Moore played a prominent role during his lifetime, and his courageous actions echo down through history. Pope Pius XI canonised Thomas More in 1935 as a martyr.
  • “Portrait of Thomas Cromwell” by Hans Holbein the Younger
    • “Portrait of Thomas Cromwell” by Hans Holbein the Younger depicts Cromwell when he was around 48 years old. It is one of two portraits Holbein painted of Cromwell. The original panel was lost. However, three versions of this painting survive. Thomas Cromwell (1485 – 1540) was a lawyer and statesman who became a confidant of Henry VIII, assuming the roles of vice-regent, Lord Chancellor, lord high chamberlain, among others. A shrewd politician, he was aware of the effect of propaganda and commissioned Holbein to produce images positioning him as a reformist and royalist.
  • “Saint Jerome as Scholar” by El Greco
    • This “Saint Jerome” by El Greco is one of five known paintings of Saint Jerome by El Greco. Saint Jerome is shown in the red vestments of a cardinal, although the office did not exist in his lifetime. He is seated before an open book, symbolising his role as translator of the Bible from Greek into Latin, in the fifth century. His version, the Vulgate, was in use throughout the Catholic Church for many centuries.
  • The Polish Rider” by Rembrandt
    • “The Polish Rider” depicts a young man travelling on horseback through a dark and gloomy landscape. It is not known whether the painting was a portrait of a particular person, living or historical, or the story it represents. There is also some uncertainty who the artist was. However, the quality of the painting and complex expression on the Rider’s brilliantly painted face all point to Rembrandt, and that is the significant consensus of the experts.

Visiting Tips for The Frick Collection

  • Admission
    • Admission usually requires a fee. Fortunately, there are also Free Days and Pay-What-You-Wish hours, which have longer lines than during the fee-paying hours.
    • Check the museum’s website for the most accurate opening times.
  • Photography
    • Photography is not permitted galleries, only the Garden Court.
  • Dining
    • No eating facilities, eat before visiting.
  • Children
    • Children under ten are not allowed in the galleries.
  • Sketching
    • Sketch in the galleries on paper not to exceed 12 x 18 inches and with charcoal or lead pencils only.
    • Pens, coloured pencils, oil paints, easels, or watercolours is not allowed.

Reflections

  • Is the “Frick Collection” in your “Top 10 Museums for New York”?

The Frick Collection

  • Name:             Frick Collection
  • City:                New York City
  • Established:    1935
  • Type:              Art Museum
  • Location:        1 East 70th Street, New York City, U.S.

Explore New York Museums

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“The modern world thinks of art as very important:
something close to the meaning of life.”

– Alain de Botton

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Photo Credit: JOM; Attribution: Wikipedia Content under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

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