The Freak Collection is New Yorkers Favorite Museum
The Frick Collection is a private collection of old Western European paintings. Collected by the American industrialist Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919). Henry Clay Frick was the creator of the giant U.S. Steel concern.
The collection, stunning in its number of masterpieces, began to take shape in the mid-1880s, when Henry Frick became one of the richest men in America and was able to compete in the art market with his, no less wealthy colleagues, including a close friend, Andrew Mellon – the future founder of the National Gallery in Washington. With virtually unlimited financial resources, Henry Frick collected… world-class masterpieces. The collection he gathered is unique in the highest quality of the collected works of art. There is no second museum in the world where Fragonard’s work is so well represented. His collection includes works by El Greco, Rembrandt, Titian, Boucher, Velázquez, Bruegel and Holbein. The older and richer Henry Frick became, the more rare works he was able to acquire. Almost before his death, he bought a stunning painting by Vermeer, Mistress and Maid (Jan Vermeer, Mistress and Maid, 1667), one of 35 works by the master known to the world. By the way, there are three works by Vermeer in the Frick Collection! In addition to paintings, his collection includes many drawings, prints, enamels, porcelain, sculptures and even icons.
In 1914, at the intersection of 70th Street and Fifth Avenue, a new residence was commissioned by Frick, where he lived until his death in 1919. The residential mansion in the style of a French palace of the eighteenth century, and all of its interior decoration Frick bequeathed to the public museum.
One of the world’s finest art collections
The building is also on 5th Avenue, in what is now called “Museum Mile.”
The fact that the collection is located, though in a chic, but still a residential house gives it a certain cozy charm of a home environment. To this day, most of the paintings are in the place where they hung the collector himself. They didn’t change their place even after a new wing was added to the mansion in 1977. Each year, this relatively small for New York, the museum is visited by about three hundred thousand visitors, of whom 75% are Americans who want to learn about European culture. As Henry Frick himself planned, the museum has become a scientific and cultural center, with a huge library occupying an entire wing of the building.
Today the museum is managed by the Directors’ Circle, which consists of 44 members, each of whom is obliged to donate at least $25,000 a year to the museum. Of course, the museum still has many benefactors who raise 170 million a year to maintain the collection, the building and the park around it. The museum itself, by selling tickets, earns only $10 million a year.
One of the reasons to be sure to visit the Frick Museum is that the museum does not give works from its collection to be shown at other exhibition venues.