The Frick Collection is undoubtedly one of the most gorgeous museums in New York City and possibly even the world. The museum is housed in Henry Clay Frick’s former neo-classical Upper East Side mansion (designed by Carrere and Hastings who also did the New York Public Library’s main outpost in midtown). I had been told for (embarrassingly) several years now that I needed to go for a visit. And it just happens that I picked the perfect week to go.
Right now , the Frick Collection has an exhibit known as “Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis.” This exhibit is on loan from The Hague and it’s nothing short of miraculous. This incredible Dutch museum happens to be undergoing renovations and instead of storing these masterpieces, the curators of The Hague sent them on a world tour, which includes a short stop (through January 19) in New York City.
Image courtesy The Frick Collection
Even if you’re not an advanced art connoisseur, (I can only dream to be) even the most novice museum-goer will enjoy this rousing exhibit. Its centerpiece is Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring. You’ve probably heard of this painting. It rose to fame after it inspired the film starring Scarlett Johansson. I highly recommend grabbing a (free) Acoustiguide player (handheld audio tour) so you can learn every interesting detail. I learned so much about this painting, lauded as the Dutch Mona Lisa. Did you know that this type of painting is called a “tronie?” Did you know that the pearl earring depicted in the painting is likely not a pearl at all? This painting truly blew me away, and likely did the same for the hordes of other visitors waiting outside in a long line just to see it.
I can tell you that no matter how long the wait, it is worth it. This exhibit will not likely soon return to New York so unless you plan to visit The Netherlands, I suggest you take this fortuitous chance while you can. The rest of the exhibit was equally as inspiring and truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Image Courtesy The Frick Collection
The Frick Collection’s permanent collection showcases paintings that span from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. There are works by Vermeer, Degas, Renoir, Gainsborough and Reynolds to name just a few of the world’s most lauded artists who are represented here. There are also gorgeous tapestries, Limoges enamel, and French furniture that will certainly impress even the most seasoned museum-goer.
And just in case you weren’t bowled over by the priceless art, be sure to visit the Garden Court, a gorgeous courtyard filled with fountains and natural light from above.
I highly recommend watching the short (10 minutes or so) orientation movie, which plays every 20 minutes in the Music Room.
The West Gallery
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street New York, NY 10021
For ticket information for the special exhibit right now click HERE.