Frick Collection takes its jewels on a Brutalist sojourn
Before the Frick Collection closed last year for a $160m renovation and expansion, its European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts had largely remained where the industrialist Henry Clay Frick first placed them in 1915 in his sumptuous East 70th Street mansion. Now stripped from their Gilded Age surroundings, highlights of the museum’s collection are going on view for the next two years a few blocks uptown on Madison Avenue at the Whitney Museum of American Art’s former home (most recently occupied by the Met Breuer).
Rather than attempt to replicate Frick’s domestic tableaux densely arrayed with paintings, bronzes, furniture, enamels, clocks, porcelain and carpets, the museum’s leadership is embracing the austere Modernist framing of the Brutalist-style building designed by Marcel Breuer in the 1960s for the Whitney at what is now being called Frick Madison.
VR Sunil Gohil