NYC on the Cheap got a preview tour recently, and we can report that the new museum is fabulous.
Get a ticket to visit Goya and Gainsborough, Rembrandt and Vermeer, Whistler and Turner, Monet and more in the famous Breuer-designed landmark building on the Upper East Side.
The artwork has moved here while the historic mansion undergoes a two-year renovation, including modern electrical wiring and security, and opening the Frick’s upstairs family quarters for the first time.
There’s space enough for some works to be displayed for the first time. and for the museum’s signature The Progress of Love by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, to be shown together in its entirety for the first time in the Frick’s history.
And there’s room enough to showcase such rarely displayed works as seventeenth-century Mughal carpets and long-stored canvases.
And, an impressive collection of antique Chinese and European porcelain now gets its own gallery, instead of being scattered throughout exhibits in the mansion. I love that they are grouped by color, and displayed symmetrically.
Some art experts were worried about how the luscious and priceless artworks in the Frick Collection would look like in a building known as “Brutalist architecture”.
Fabolulous, that’s how.
The plain off-white and light grey walls and sun-splashed galleries make the colors of the various artwork jump out, and allow you to appreciate each painting without the distraction of the opulent furnishings at the mansion, built in 1905 by steel millionaire (a billionaire in today’s money) Henry Clay Frick.
And you’ll notice their incredible carved gilded frames, too, as I did – also works of art, as far as I’m concerned.
The additional space – three floors of galleries – allow some artworks to be displayed in a room of their own, like the Vermeer Room.
And another room of life-size portraits by Whistler.
It’s not all Renaissance and 19th century portraits.
My forever favorite paintings are the French Impressionists, and they are represented here, too, with a gallery of their own featuring Monet, Manet, Degas and Ingres.
Frick Madison History
The famous Breuer-designed landmark building at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street is the former site of the Met Breuer, which the Met closed after using it for several years as an annex for contemporary art.
Before that, the building was the longtime home of the Whitney Museum of American Art, which built a larger and more contemporary building in the Meatpacking District.
The Frick Collection will operate Frick Madison for approximately two years while its historic buildings on East 70th Street undergo renovation.
This temporary relocation allows the Frick to continue offering public access to its celebrated collections during a time when the museum and library would otherwise be closed.
Frick Madison Hours & Ticket Info
Frick Madison will be open Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Children under 10 are not admitted.
Purchase timed entry tickets online, in advance.
A reading room is available by appointment for researchers and others who use the rich art historical resources of the Frick Art Reference Library.
The occupancy of the museum’s galleries will be capped at 25%.
Ticket link for all museum and library reservations is frick.org/tickets.
$22 general public; seniors $17; students $12; Members are always free
A printed museum guide will be available to visitors.
Face coverings are required and must be worn by all visitors and staff. Social distancing will be strictly enforced.
The coat check is closed until further notice.
Visitors will not be allowed to carry oversized items into the galleries.
A light menu of refreshments and snacks, offered by Joe Coffee, will be available during museum hours, with seating outdoors.
The Frick Collection FREE Online Programs
Visitors are encouraged to enhance their experience with a new curator-led audio guide available on the Bloomberg Connects App, using their own phones rather than borrowed devices.
- Bloomberg Connects App: frick.org/app
This free downloadable guide, launched in June 2020, is available now and updated monthly with new content.
The Frick will remain active online, for audiences everywhere.
The popular weekly video series Cocktails with a Curator, which had more than one million views in 2020, has been extended, and new episodes debut weekly on Fridays at 5:00 p.m. through April 2. Each week features a different artwork, and a cocktail – with a recipe – to sip during the virtual tour.
The museum continues to schedule visits online for schools and small groups, with in-person programming at Frick Madison anticipated to be added later in 2021.
Information about additional virtual and in-person programs will be announced in the coming months.
How to Get to Frick Madison
Subway: #6 local to 77th Street station; #Q to 72nd Street station;
Bus: M1, M2, M3, and M4 southbound on Fifth Avenue to 75th Street and northbound on Madison Avenue to 74th Street
Museum mailing address: 1 East 70th Street, near Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10021
More about The Frick
Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, “While the Frick has successfully maintained contact with audiences locally, nationally, and around the globe through our thought-provoking digital programs since having to close last March, we have greatly missed the direct, in-person interactions with the public. We are looking forward to sharing our collections again in person, reframed in a setting that has inspired fresh perspectives.”
The installation is organized by the Frick’s curatorial team, led by Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, with Curator Aimee Ng, incoming Assistant Curator Giulio Dalvit, and former Curator of Decorative Arts Charlotte Vignon, now director of the Musée National de Céramique in Sèvres, France.
The plan has been created in consultation with the Frick’s longtime exhibition designer Stephen Saitas and Selldorf Architects, the firm responsible for the institution’s building project.
Major support for the installation is provided by:
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Denise Littlefield Sobel, an anonymous gift in memory of Melvin R. Seiden, The Christian Humann Foundation, and by David and Julie Tobey. Additional funding is generously provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Acquavella Family Foundation, The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Charitable Foundation, Larry Gagosian, Drue and H.J. Heinz II Charitable Trust, the Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Foundation, The Honorable and Mrs. Earle Mack, The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Joanne Payson in memory of John Whitney Payson, Fabrizio Moretti, the David L. Klein, Jr. Foundation, Elizabeth F. Stribling and Guy Robinson, Eiko and Michael Assael, Christie’s, Elise Frick, Hubert and Mireille Goldschmidt, Jane Richards in honor of Elizabeth M. Eveillard, and Sotheby’s.
NYC on the Cheap thanks each one of these philanthropies for helping make NYC the museum capital of the world.