Daydreaming at The Frick


We were in Manhattan recently for a friend’s captivating piano recital and decided to use the occasion to revisit the Frick Collection. William Clay Frick was a hugely wealthy and controversial steel magnate. He was also one of the leading art collectors of The Gilded Age. In 1919 he built a mansion that filled the entire block on Fifth Avenue. Since 1930 it has been a museum, one of my favorites, and not only because of its art collection. It was and remains a beautifully designed space built in a style and at a cost that is almost impossible to imagine today. The room in the picture above is typical of the sumptuous quality of the design, with its parquet floor, detailed friezes, ornate crown moldings, crystal chandeliers and abundant use of gold leaf. Walking through the museum I find myself daydreaming about life in the sumptuous grandeur of Mr. Frick’s palace, in an era before the government had the gall to instigate the income tax.

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  1. Test

    Comment by engelmeyer — October 29, 2009 @ 8:35 am

  2. His name was HENRY Clay Frick, and he authored the most brutally violent suppression of workers in American history in 1892.

    Comment by Phil — July 4, 2010 @ 4:50 pm

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