Private Collection Gone Public
A few steps away from Central Park, on the Upper East side, sits one of New York’s most beautiful houses. Fortunately, this house is open to the public and inside is an even more beautiful art collection. Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Clay Frick had this home built in the early 20th century and lived here with his ever-growing art collection until his death in 1919.
The collection first opened to the public in 1935 and has expanded ever since. As you roam around the rooms you’ll find paintings and sculptures by Bellini, Rembrandt and Vermeer and wonder at how Frick lived with these masterpieces in his home. Light pours in through the windows, the trees across the street sway in the wind and the floorboards creak gently beneath your feet as the elegant mansion transports you to a seemingly implausible life in another era.
Pause in front of the fireplace in the Living Hall. On either side you’ll find Hans Holbein the Younger’s portraits of Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, staring each other down. This simple placement of Henry VIII’s two battling statesmen, forced to confront their adversarial relationship forever, makes you want to befriend this wondrous man (and move into his stunning home).
The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021.
Photo: Hannah Hoskins.