From Mansion to Museum: The Frick Collection Celebrates
On view from June 22 through September 5, 2010
John Russell Pope proposed clearing the former courtyard and enclosing it under glass, thereby creating a Garden Court complete with palms, plants, and a sunken pool and fountain in the center. He also provided a new entrance on 70th Street by extending the façade over the former carriageway and relocating Hastings's porte-cochère as the doorway to the new museum. Sherry Fry's pediment, sculpted in 1913, now looked down on visitors as they crossed the threshold of the new museum. These ingenious solutions seem to have won Pope the commission in March 1932. At this stage, however, with Hastings's Library occupying the site at 6–8 East 71st Street, there could only be limited expansion north and east of the Garden Court. In building over the driveway at 71st Street and extending the West Gallery's façade by almost half its length, Pope had sufficient room for only one new circular gallery, of admittedly generous proportions. By the time he submitted a set of revised plans in August 1933, A breakthrough had occurred. Pope now proposed demolishing Hastings's one-story Library, thereby allowing the Collection to expand into both the interior courtyard and the adjoining plot at 6–8 East 71st Street.
Excerpted from Colin B. Bailey, Building The Frick Collection: An Introduction to the House and Its Collections. New York: The Frick Collection in association with Scala Publishers, 2006, pp. 101–2.
John Russell Pope, sketch for proposed court and planting, April 1932 (photo: The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives)
The Garden Court, July 12, 1934 (photo: The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives)
The Garden Court, 2009 (photo: Michael Bodycomb, The Frick Collection)