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[INSIDER] NEW YORK #65 – The Frick Collection

Curators’ Corner

[INSIDER] NEW YORK #65 – The Frick Collection

Across the street from Central Park, deep in the bourgeois haunts of the Upper East Side, where the pillars of Old Money still stand, an mansion houses one of the most celebrated collections of art ever amassed privately. The Frick Collection, once a private residence, is now one of the preeminent small art museums in the United States.

Constructed in 1914, the mansion’s original resident and collector of the collection was Henry Clay Frick. Mr. Frick was an industrial titan who in his day was responsible for some of the great labor travesties of the 20th century. The Homestead Strike in Pittsburgh, during which 9 strikers were murdered by Pinkertons at the behest of Frick as well as the Johnstown Flood, during which a private dam owned and overseen by Frick’s private hunting club, the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club, gave way, flooding an entire town, left the long standing reputation of being one of the most hated men in America in his day. Also an enthusiastic art collector, Frick bequeathed his mansion and art collection to the public upon his death in 1919. However, The Frick Collection wasn’t opened to the public until 1935. Over the years the building has been expanded three times, and has seen the art collection grow. It is home to a veritable who’s-who of European artists’ works, from the likes of Bellini, Rembrandt, and Velázquez to Goya, Vermeer and El Greco among many more.

The Frick Collection is located at 1 East 70th Street, in Manhattan.