New York (November 8, 2021) — One of the most distinctive and keenly awaited events of New York’s cultural recovery this year was the opening of Frick Madison, the temporary residence of The Frick Collection in the Marcel Breuer–designed building (formerly occupied by the Whitney and the Met Breuer). With its home under renovation, the Frick has taken advantage of this strikingly different, unlikely setting to present a fresh take on its holdings. The Frick Madison installation, which received rave reviews upon debuting in March, is the subject of a newly released book: Frick Madison: The Frick Collection at the Breuer Building. The lavishly illustrated volume commemorates this singular moment in the museum’s history through texts and stunning photography. Included are more than 130 images by the museum’s photographer, Joseph Coscia Jr., who captures the reframing of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts (by Bellini, Bronzino, Clodion, Fragonard, Gainsborough, Goya, Holbein, Houdon, Ingres, Piero della Francesca, Rembrandt, Titian, Turner, Velázquez, Vermeer, Whistler, and many others) in this iconic space.
The book features a reflective and absorbing foreword by author, social commentator, and contributing opinion writer for The New York Times Roxane Gay, who writes that the rehanging of the collection is “an opportunity to consider the work as exemplars of the times in which they were created,” as well as “an opportunity to consider the work in a modern context.” Also included in the book are a preface by Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director, and an essay by Xavier F. Salomon, Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, who discusses the vision behind presenting Frick holdings in a building that is also a work of art, as well as the process of reimagining the Frick in this way, against a backdrop of stone, concrete, and notable Marcel Breuer features.
The temporary installation at Frick Madison marks the first time that a substantial number of works in the collection have been presented outside of their customary residential context. In a departure from the Frick’s usual presentation style, works are organized at Frick Madison loosely by chronology, geographic region, and media, offering opportunities for new insights and perspectives of beloved objects. The book demonstrates how comfortably and elegantly the museum’s treasures appear in this modernist space. Readers will enjoy the documentation of unprecedented displays, among them, the placement of Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert—considered by many to be the greatest Renaissance painting in America—in a chapel-like room of its own adjacent to one of Breuer’s trapezoidal windows. Fragonard’s Progress of Love series is now shown in its entirety and in its original sequence for the first time in more than one-hundred years. The book also illustrates the installation of lesser known but significant strengths in the Frick holdings, among these, a room featuring eighteenth-century French royal furniture and a gallery of rarely seen seventeenth-century Indian carpets. Photography also captures the current presentation of porcelain, shown here arranged by color.
Frick Madison: The Frick Collection at the Breuer Building is published by The Frick Collection in association with D Giles Limited. The hardcover volume of 160 pages has 133 color illustrations ($49.95, member price $39.96). It is sold online through the Museum Shop at frick.org/shop and by emailing email@example.com or calling 212-547-6849.
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