Letter from the Director: Winter 2015

photo of guide in galley instructing group

This letter is reprinted from the Winter 2015 issue of the Members’ Magazine.

The Frick Collection continues to offer an exceptional calendar of special exhibitions, concerts, events, and a wide variety of educational programs. The importance of education at The Frick Collection—indeed, at any museum—cannot be overstated. Programs that inform and enlighten our visitors, thus enabling them to form deeper and more meaningful connections with our rich collections of paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts are essential to the museum-going experience.

Founder Henry Clay Frick mandated that the museum bearing his name be a public institution accessible to all for the study and enjoyment of the fine arts. With this in mind, The Frick Collection has invested in an education department that, over the past several decades, has grown in scope, and influence. Where once only three types of programs offered—concerts, lectures, and symposia—there are now dozens, from free nights and salon evenings to gallery conversations and courses, internships and fellowships, sketching and performance.

photo of students from East Harlem School in galleryServing as many as 20,000 people a year, the Frick’s education program offers multiple possibilities for engagement and continues to attract new audiences. Specific offerings are tailored to the interests of our diverse public: middle school to graduate students, adults of all ages, novice art lovers, and distinguished scholars. Last year, the Frick welcomed more than 1,750 students from New York City and tri-state area public and private schools. We are especially proud of our collaboration with the East Harlem School, wherein every one of its 150 students visits the museum.

Education programs at the Frick illuminate the works in our permanent collection as well as those on view in our extraordinary special exhibitions. Currently on view is Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France. For centuries, Cervantes’s literary masterpiece has inspired works of art in a variety of media, including dance, music, and film — not to mention the paintings, tapestries, prints, and books that are part of the exhibition. In conjunction with the show, we are offering a host of events that highlight Don Quixote’s enduring influence on the visual and performing arts.

group in gallery surrounding paintingAnother example of the intriguing connection between literature, history, and art was the March 18 lecture by author Hilary Mantel, whose recent novels based on the life of Thomas Cromwell bring alive the man known to our visitors from Holbein’s iconic portrait. Such programs stimulate learning at all levels, and I encourage you to take advantage of all The Frick Collection has to offer in the months ahead.

For more information about the education department and for a calendar of upcoming offerings, visit our program pages.

All photographs by Lucas Chilczuk

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