A controversial plan to expand the landmark Frick Collection in New York City was withdrawn by its Board of Trustees on Wednesday. Historic preservationists, including New York City’s Historic Districts Council, opposed the plan, in part on the grounds that the new construction would have destroyed a gated pocket park. Continue reading
After many thoughtful meetings and two site visits to The Frick over several months, the Historic Districts Council has determined that we cannot support the proposed institutional expansion at the individually landmarked Frick. Our thoughts are outlined in our statement below:
In a city of superlatives, The Frick is unique. One of the last remaining Millionaire’s Row mansions of the Gilded Age, The Frick residence was designed from the beginning to become a museum. Henry Clay Frick stipulated in his will that his home become “a public gallery of art to which the entire public shall forever have access…”and to this end, a separate Board of Directors for his art collection was established after his death in 1920. After the death of Mr. Frick’s wife Adelaide in 1931, architect John Russell Pope was commissioned to architecturally guide the mansion’s transition to a museum (described in its 1973 designation report as “sensitive architectural blendings of alterations and additions with the original mansion”). From its beginnings, The Frick has been a thoughtful, considered place. Continue reading
The New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), consisting of the libraries and archives of The Frick Collection (Frick Art Reference Library), the Brooklyn Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art, has been awarded a grant of $340,000 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to initiate a program of web archiving for specialist art historical resources.
The two-year program will follow a 2012 pilot study, Reframing Collections for the Digital Age, also funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. That study demonstrated that the types of materials the NYARC libraries had been collecting in printed form were increasingly migrating to online versions available exclusively on the web. Continue reading
The Frick Collection presents its seventy-fifth anniversary season of classical music concerts in the elegant setting of the museum’s Music Room.
Debuting in 1938, just three years after The Frick Collection opened to the public; the concert series is one of the most celebrated in New York City and has delighted thousands of visitors over the years with world-class performances ranging from solo recitals to chamber music groups to early music ensembles. Continue reading
The Frick Collection has announced the launch of its new website. Key features of the redesigned and expanded site include a new interactive virtual tour with access to information and zoomable images for more than 1,000 works of art in the permanent collection and enhanced content in the areas of research, programs, and media.
Additionally, the site has been streamlined to allow greater integration between the institution’s museum and library, and highlights the improved layout and easier navigation of sections relating to exhibitions, membership, special events, and the Museum Shop. Continue reading
This fall The Frick Collection will present Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of a Peasant (Patience Escalier). The painting has not left its home institution, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California, in nearly forty years, making this a rare viewing opportunity for East Coast audiences.
In conjunction with this presentation, the painting has undergone a comprehensive technical analysis at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. The modern masterpiece will be shown in the Frick’s Oval Room from October 30, 2012, through January 20, 2013. It will be accompanied by lectures, a seminar, and gallery talks. In the nearby Multimedia Room, a brief video presentation will discuss the results of new research and the painting’s examination, while an introductory video will be shown in the Music Room. Continue reading
The Frick Collection has announced that in the fall of 2013, it will be the final venue of an American tour of paintings from the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. This prestigious Dutch museum, which has not lent a large body of works from its holdings in nearly thirty years, is undergoing an extensive two-year renovation that makes this opportunity possible. Between January 2013 and January 2014, the Mauritshuis will send thirty-five paintings to the United States, following two stops at Japanese institutions.
The American exhibition opens next winter at de Young/Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, traveling on to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta for the summer of 2013. A smaller selection of ten masterpieces will be on view at The Frick Collection in New York from October 22, 2013, through January 12, 2014. Among the works going on tour are the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer and The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, neither of which will have been seen by American audiences in ten years.
Illustration: Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), Girl with a Pearl Earring, c. 1665, oil on canvas, 44.5 x 39 cm, Mauritshuis, The Hague.
Over the course of fifty years-from the 1950s until his death in 2010 at the age of eighty-one-former Frick Collection Director Charles A. Ryskamp (1928-2010) assembled an extraordinary personal trove of European drawings. Reflecting on his pursuits in 2009, Dr. Ryskamp remarked, “I have always believed that giving, as much as acquiring, is the principle of my collecting.”
This spirit of sharing is embodied in a group of ten superb drawings that he bequeathed to the Frick, selected from among his large and varied collection by Anne L. Poulet, Director Emerita, and curators Colin B. Bailey and Susan Grace Galassi.
Other sheets were donated to The Morgan Library & Museum, where Dr. Ryskamp served as Director from 1969 to 1987, or auctioned at Sotheby’s for the benefit of Princeton University, where he began his career as a professor of literature. The works bequeathed to the Frick enlarged the museum’s holdings in drawings them by nearly a third, while complementing the permanent collection’s focus on landscape and figural subjects.
This winter and spring the Frick celebrates Charles Ryskamp’s generosity-and discerning taste-with an exhibition of the works from his bequest. The drawings, which have never before been shown at the Frick, will be presented in the Cabinet, a space created by Dr. Ryskamp during his tenure as Director from 1987 to 1997 and intended especially for the display of works on paper. The installation is accompanied by two oil-on-paper studies of clouds by John Constable, which Dr. Ryskamp was instrumental in bringing to the Collection. A Passion for Drawings: Charles Ryskamp’s Bequest to The Frick Collection wasorganized by Katie L. Steiner and Nicholas Wise, Curatorial Assistants, The Frick Collection.
Illustration: Pierre-Joseph Redouté (1759-1840), Plum Branches Intertwined, 1802-4, watercolor on vellum, 31.9 x 26.3 cm, The Frick Collection, bequest of Charles A. Ryskamp, 2010; Photo: Michael Bodycomb.