The Frick Reframed: The Frick Collection Presents Highlights Reconsidered at Frick Madison
A temporary move during The Frick's renovation posits the collection in an iconic modernist building
On Thursday, March 18, 2021, The Frick Collection launches Frick Madison, the long-awaited public opening of its temporary new home at 945 Madison Avenue. Frick Madison invites audiences to experience the beloved holdings of the institution, reframed in a completely new context. Serving as the Frick’s temporary home for the next two years while its historic buildings at 1 East 70th Street undergo renovation, Frick Madison marks the first time that a substantial gathering of collection highlights will be presented outside the walls of the museum’s Gilded Age mansion.
In a departure from the Frick’s customary presentation style, works are organized at Frick Madison chronologically and by region, allowing for fresh juxtapositions and new insights about the treasured paintings and sculptures by Bellini, Clodion, Gainsborough, Goya, Holbein, Houdon, Ingres, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Titian, Turner, Velázquez, Vermeer, Whistler, and many others.
The installation also spotlights the Frick’s impressive holdings of decorative arts and sculpture, as well as rarely seen works, including the entirety of canvases from the famed series by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, shown together for the first time in the institution’s history. Frick Madison is located at 945 Madison Avenue at 75th Street, the former site of the Met Breuer and, previously, the Whitney Museum of American Art, which commissioned the building in 1966 by architect Marcel Breuer.
Comments Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, “We are thrilled that the public can continue to enjoy these great works of art from our collections during a time when they otherwise would be inaccessible as we renovate and enhance our home at 1 East 70th Street. The minimalism of Marcel Breuer’s midcentury architecture provides a unique backdrop for our Old Masters, and the result is a not-to-be-missed experience, one that our public is sure to find engaging and thought-provoking.”
The Frick has created a sequence of gallery spaces at Frick Madison that reflects the museum’s traditional emphasis on intimate encounters with both art and architecture and allows direct access to objects without the interference of vitrines or stanchions. Recognizing that Marcel Breuer’s stark creation of stone and concrete provides a very different museum experience than that offered by the Frick’s Beaux Arts mansion, the curatorial team has embraced this modernist setting as a unique opportunity. Rather than attempting to replicate the mansion’s domestic display, the installation respects the forms and materials Breuer used, juxtaposing beloved Frick masterpieces with the building’s distinct architectural features, such as its signature trapezoid windows.
Comments Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Xavier F. Salomon, “From the very beginning we sought to marry our holdings with Marcel Breuer’s great modernist building, with the intention of revealing the Frick’s strengths in a new way, while inspiring fresh conversations and observations. Throughout the installation, we’ve maintained the core value of the Frick experience: offering visitors the opportunity to study works of art in a direct and immediate way, surrounded by a beautiful and peaceful environment. Rather than trying to recreate the rooms of the mansion, we celebrate this architectural icon, hoping audiences emerge with new understandings of both its features and spaces, and of our remarkable and very distinct collection.”
Advanced tickets are required, visit The Frick website.