The Frick’s Old Masters Leave Their UES Mansion, Move Into Brutalist Breuer Building


Beginning later this month, the landmark Breuer constructing on Madison Avenue, house to the Whitney from 1966 to 2014 and second house to the Met from 2016 till COVID despatched them packing final summer time, goes to perform as an Airbnb of types for the previous masters of the Frick assortment. Dubbed Frick Madison, the museum now boasts greater than 100 works by the likes of Rembrandt and Goya, Vermeer and Velazquez, Van Dyck and Bellini.

It opens to most of the people on March 18th, and will probably be entertaining friends for not less than the following two years.

The rationale for the short-term housing? Robber baron Henry Clay Frick’s Beaux Arts mansion on East seventieth is getting renovated–the upstairs bedrooms are being readied for public viewing, and there is a large new addition coming–so when the Met pulled out of the Breuer in June, the Frick’s curatorial workforce jumped on the likelihood, and the problem, of displaying these beloved works in modernist environment, the primary time lots of them have ever been proven exterior of the splendid home settings of their mansion. In reality, a few of these work hadn’t been moved from no matter wall they have been on for greater than a century.

One other large change from the standard Frick viewing expertise: right here on Madison the gathering is organized first by area (Northern European works are on the second ground, Italian and Spanish on three, British and French on 4) after which in chronological order inside every grouping. However regardless of the comparatively sparse and modern trappings, the galleries do handle to seize that signature Frick vibe of hushed reverence, thanks partly to the content material of the artwork itself, but in addition as a consequence of easy techniques like a subdued grey colour scheme and dramatic spotlighting.

With out the distraction of the gilded mansion and its ornate furnishings, Frick Madison actually encourages deep viewing, particularly since, per Frick custom, no pictures of any form, not even telephone snaps, will probably be allowed. And whereas the work are the primary attraction here–in addition to the nice masters talked about above, you will discover works by the likes of Gainsborough, Whistler, Titian, El Greco, Hals, Turner, Holbein, on and on–there are additionally a good variety of sculptural items on show, in addition to a sampling from the Frick’s giant ornamental arts assortment.

All of it makes for a pleasantly prolonged and satisfying cultural expertise. And for some sustenance earlier than or after your art-viewing, the cafe within the decrease foyer, which boasts a spacious out of doors seating space, is now a Joe Espresso, that includes the entire anticipated caffeinated drinks in addition to first-rate scones and different pastries by Danielle Sespy of The Hungry Gnome.

Frick Madison opens to the general public on March 18, with hours on Thursday via Sunday, 10:00 to six:00 p.m. for now, and pandemic protocols (lowered capability, timed-entry tickets, masks required) in place.