Frick Collection

Top choice gallery

in Upper East Side
Image by Dan Herrick / Getty Images

This spectacular art collection sits in a mansion built by steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, one of the many such residences lining the section of Fifth Ave that was once called 'Millionaires’ Row.' The museum has over a dozen splendid rooms displaying masterpieces by Titian, Vermeer, Gilbert Stuart, El Greco, Joshua Reynolds, Van Dyck and Rembrandt. Sculpture, ceramics, antique furniture and clocks are also on display. Fans of classical music will enjoy the piano and violin concerts on some Sunday evenings.

The Frick is a treat for several reasons. First, it's housed in a lovely, rambling beaux-arts structure built from 1913 to 1914 by Carrère and Hastings; it’s also generally not crowded (except perhaps during popular shows). It feels refreshingly intimate, with a trickling indoor courtyard fountain and gardens (though closed to the public). A demure Portico Gallery displays decorative works and sculpture. (Note that children under 10 years are not admitted to the museum.) And, finally, free lectures from curators or experts in the field are usually offered in conjunction with special exhibitions.

A worthwhile audio tour (available in several languages) is included in the admission price. Beginning in 2020, the museum is undertaking a restoration and expansion project, eventually opening up new galleries on the 2nd floor of the house and adding private state-of-the-art conservation laboratories, a cafe, a new state-of-the-art auditorium, an Education Center and ADA access throughout: expect disruptions to your visit (check the progress at www.frickfuture.org).