Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Frick Collection ~ The Best Private Art Museum In New York

Posted Art Knowledge News: 27 Feb 2012 
artwork: Konrad Witz - Pietà, c.1440, -  Tempera and oil on panel - Property of The Frick Collection, NY -  Konrad Witz was one of the first German painters to show the influence of early Netherlandish art and one of the first European artists to incorporate realistic landscapes into religious paintings.
The Frick Collection is a not-for-profit educational institution originally founded by Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919), the Pittsburgh coke and steel industrialist. In 1913, construction began on Henry Frick’s New York mansion at Seventieth Street and Fifth Avenue, designed by Carrère and Hastings to accommodate Mr. Frick’s paintings and other art objects. The house cost $5,000,000, but from its inception, took into account Mr. Frick’s intention to leave his house and his art collection to the public. Mr. Frick died in 1919 and in his will, 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 and 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 nearby Frick Art Reference Library was founded in 1920 to serve “adults with a serious interest in art,” among them scholars, art professionals, collectors, and students. The Library’s book and photograph research collections relate chiefly to paintings, drawings, sculpture, and prints from the fourth to the mid-twentieth centuries by European and American artists. Known internationally for its rich holdings of auction and exhibition catalogs, the Library is a leading site for collecting and provenance research. Archival materials and special collections augment the research collections with documents pertaining to the history of collecting art in America and of Henry Clay Frick’s collecting in particular. 
The Frick Collection developed the “Art of Observation” training course, initially for medical students, but now used by police, security and defense personnel throughout the USA. Using works of art to train students in observation techniques proved so effective that enquiries were received from as far as way as London’s Metropolitan Police Force. Visit the museum’s website at …
The above post is obvioulsy not about books but The Frick is one of my favourite places in NYC, don't miss it if you are there, and I couldn't resist adding this piece this am.

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