Monday, February 20, 2017

NYC: The Frick Collection

The Frick Collection may not be the biggest collection of art in New York City, but the unique nature of the collection makes it well worth visiting, especially for frequent visitors to the city who have 'done' the major museums and galleries and who are looking for something different to do. 

Smaller collections like those at the Frick are also worth visiting if you have a limited amount of time to spend in New York. You don't need to set aside the best part of day (or two) to appreciate the full collection as you would if visiting the Metropolitan Museum, or the Museum of Modern Art.

The collection was assembled by the Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) and is housed in his former residence on Fifth Avenue, one of New York City’s few remaining Gilded Age mansions. The museum opened in 1935 and has continued to acquire works of art since Mr. Frick’s death. Among the many artists represented in the collection are Rembrandt, Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Goya, Vermeer, William Turner, James McNeill Whistler, and numerous others.

Space is set aside for temporary exhibitions (the exhibition, Watteau’s Soldiers was taking place when I visited in late August, 2016), while another room screens short films examining the history of the collection.

Like most modern institutions, the Frick now has an excellent app for both Android and Apple smartphones and tablet devices. The app allows you to explore the galleries, search for specific works of art or artists, and provides information about current exhibitions and tours.

In fact, as I write this, the app offers a Director’s Choice tour with 38 stops; a Turner tour (again with 38 stops), and several others. You can not only examine each work of art, but brief audio explanations accompany each image as well.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Frick, and the chance to walk through one of New York City's famed Gilded Age mansions is an added bonus that should not be passed up either.

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