UES044-07.jpg (51333 bytes) New York Architecture Images-Upper East Side

Frick Collection Landmark

  formerly Henry Clay and Adelaide Childs Frick House, now the Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library


Carrere & Hastings, 1913-14; entrance pavilion and library, John Russell Pope, 1931-35; garden addition, Harry Van Dyke, John Barrington Bayley, and G. Frederick Poehler, 1977; garden, Russell Page.


One East  70th Street, At Fifth Ave. and 10 East 71st Street








House  Gallery





The Frick Collection is an elegant museum housed in a former mansion at 1 East 70th Street, in New York City. The collection consists of exceptional works from the Renaissance through the late nineteenth century. Included are some of the world's most celebrated Western artists, such as Constable, Goya, Manet, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, and Whistler. The Frick Collection is also the home to delicate French porcelains, Italian bronzes, sculptures, and period furniture. Tours are enhanced by Acoustiguide, which is available in six languages. Friday evenings the Frick will stay open until 9pm with a cash wine bar in the Garden Court. Children under 10 are not permitted and an adult must accompany children under 16. 
An Introduction to The Frick Collection

A visit to The Frick Collection evokes the splendor and tranquillity of a time gone by and at the same time testifies to how great art collections can still inspire viewers today. Housed in the New York mansion built by Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), one of America’s most successful coke and steel industrialists, are masterpieces of Western painting, sculpture, and decorative art, displayed in a serene and intimate setting. Each of sixteen galleries offers a unique presentation of works of art arranged for the most part without regard to period or national origin, in the same spirit as Mr. Frick enjoyed the art he loved before he bequeathed it to the public.

Both the mansion and the works in it serve as a monument to one of America's greatest art collectors. Built in 1913–14 from designs by the firm Carrère and Hastings, the house is set back from Fifth Avenue by an elevated garden punctuated by three magnificent magnolia trees.

Since Mr. Frick’s death in 1919, the Collection has expanded both its physical dimensions and its holdings. Approximately one third of the pictures have been acquired since then, and twice — in 1931–35 and 1977 — the building has been enlarged to better serve the public. At the Frick, visitors stroll from the airy, lighthearted Fragonard Room, named for that artist's large wall paintings of The Progress of Love and furnished with exceptional eighteenth-century French furniture and Sèvres porcelain, to the more austere atmosphere of the Living Hall, filled with masterpieces by Holbein, Titian, El Greco, and Bellini. Passing through the Library, rich with Italian bronzes and Chinese porcelain vases, one arrives at Mr. Frick’s long West Gallery, hung with celebrated canvases including landscapes by Constable, Ruisdael, and Corot and portraits by Rembrandt and Velázquez. Vermeer's Mistress and Maid, the last painting Mr. Frick bought, is one of three pictures by that artist in the Collection, while Piero della Francesca's image of St. John the Evangelist, dominating the Enamel Room, is the only large painting by Piero in the United States. The East Gallery, adorned with works by Degas, Goya, Turner, Van Dyck, Claude Lorrain, Whistler, and others, usually concludes a visit to the galleries and leads visitors to the serene space of the Garden Court, where they pause beneath the skylight, surrounded by greenery and the gentle sounds of the fountain.

The Frick Collection — About the Architecture

The Frick Collection is housed in the former residence of Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the Pittsburgh coke and steel industrialist. The building, erected in 1913-14, was designed by the American architect Thomas Hastings in a style reminiscent of European domestic architecture of the eighteenth century.

Mr. Frick bequeathed the residence and the works of art he had collected over a period of forty years to a Board of Trustees, permitting them to add to his collection (almost a third of the paintings were acquired since his death) and to make it a center for the study of art and related subjects. After alterations and extensions were made to the building by John Russell Pope, it was opened to the public in 1935. A further extension, including a reception hall, exhibition galleries on a lower floor, and a garden, was completed in 1977.


Henry Clay Frick and the History of the Frick Collection


The Frick Collection was founded by Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the Pittsburgh coke and steel industrialist. At his death, Mr. Frick bequeathed his New York residence and the most outstanding of his many art works to establish a public gallery for the purpose of “encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts.” Chief among his bequests, which also included sculpture, drawings, prints, and decorative arts such as furniture, porcelains, enamels, rugs and silver, were one hundred thirty-one paintings. Forty-seven additional paintings have been acquired over the years by the Trustees from an endowment provided by the founder and through gifts and bequests. As of the end of 1995 The Frick Collection housed a permanent collection of more than 1,100 works of art from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century.

The art of The Frick Collection includes superb examples of Old Masters, English eighteenth-century portraits, Dutch seventeenth-century works of art, Italian Renaissance paintings, Renaissance bronzes, Limoge enamels, Chinese porcelains, and French eighteenth-century furniture. Artists represented in the Collection include Rembrandt van Rijn, Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer, Francois Boucher, Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds, Joseph Mallord William Turner, James McNeill Whistler, Francesco Laurana, Jean-Antoine Houdon, and Severo Calzetta da Ravenna.

In 1913, construction began on Henry Frick’s New York mansion at Seventieth Street and Fifth Avenue. The house he erected cost $5,000,000. The firm of Carrère and Hastings designed the house to accommodate Mr. Frick’s paintings and other art objects. Even the earliest plans for the residence take into account Mr. Frick’s intention to leave his house and his art collection to the public, as he knew the Marquess of Hertford had done with his London mansion and comparable collection some years earlier.

Mr. Frick changed the arrangements of the rooms as he acquired new works to fill the house. Further alterations were made after his death whenever appropriate, with the single exception of the Living Hall, where the arrangement has remained unchanged for seventy-six years.

Mr. Frick died in 1919. In his will, he left the house and all of the works of art in it together with the furnishings (“subject to occupancy by Mrs. Frick during her lifetime”) to become a gallery called The Frick Collection. He provided an endowment of $15,000,000 to be used for the maintenance of the Collection and for improvements and additions.

After Mrs. Frick's death in 1931, family and trustees of The Frick Collection began the transformation of the Fifth Avenue residence into a museum. Under the direction of The Frick Collection Organizing Director, Frederick Mortimer Clapp, construction and renovation at the Collection began. The Trustees commissioned John Russell Pope to make additions to the original house, including two galleries (the Oval Room and East Gallery), a combination lecture hall and music room, and the enclosed courtyard. In December 1935 The Frick Collection opened to the public. In 1977, a garden on Seventieth Street to the east of the Collection was designed by Russell Page, to be seen from the street and from the pavilion added at the same time to accommodate increasing attendance at the museum. This new Reception Hall was designed by Harry van Dyke, John Barrington Bayley, and G. Frederick Poehler. Two additional galleries were opened on the lower level of the pavilion to house temporary exhibitions.

The Frick Collection, although small, has played a very significant role in collecting and connoisseurship in the United States. The types of paintings collected by Mr. Frick deeply affected the taste of Americans in the decades after his death — first and foremost, that of Andrew Mellon, his close friend, and other collectors who gave to The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., founded by Mellon. Later, the example of  The Frick Collection helped determine the nature of museums such as the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth. It was, and continues to be, the model for many other collectors and institutions — whether or not they achieve the standards of collecting or the atmosphere of The Frick Collection as we know it today.

  Address & Phone
1 E. 70th St.
btw Madison & 5th Ave
New York, NY 10021-4967
Phone: (212) 288-0700
Fax: (212) 628-4417

Tues-Sat 10am-6pm
Sun 1pm-6pm

Admission includes the ArtPhone audio guide
General: $10
Students/Seniors: $5

Children under ten are not admitted to the Collection, and those under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult.




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