Oct 15, 2011

Frick Collection in New York

Recently I've gotten so busy that I don't have enough time to write a journal on this weblog, so today's journal is about a light topic.

When I visited New York with my wife this summer, I planned to see a Yankee's game at Yankee Stadium, but the game was postponed by rain. We came back to Manhattan and visited Frick Collection.

There are many famous museums of art in New York such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art), Solomon Guggenheim, and Whitney Museum of American Art. But I love Frick Collection best.

The Metropolitan Museum and MoMA have a lot of famous works of art to see and they are good for "studying" fine art. But they are so big that I get tired of walking in all over these museums.

On the other hand there are small and cozy museums, which have a very tasteful collection. I can comfortably spend time in these museums.

In Paris the formers kind include the Louvre Museum and the Orsay Museum, and the latter include the Orangerie Museum and the Rodin Museum. Frick Collection is one of such museums in New York. I love the atmosphere at Frick Collection. (I also love the Hosomi Museum in Kyoto.)

The Frick Collection building used to be the house of Henry Clay Frick, who was one of the funders of U.S. Steel. He had lived in Pittsburgh, which was the center of the steel industry in the U.S. After retirement he moved to Manhattan. He built a magnificent mansion beside Central Park and began to collect works of fine art.

The quality of his collection is really great. It has several Vermeer works (!), Rembrandt self portraits and many Anthony van Dyke portraits. Before I visited Frick Collection I wasn't interested in van Dyke and just knew his name. But I was fascinated with his works there.

Of course his works themselves are excellent and even more they fit the atmosphere of an old luxurious mansion. They are put in the right place. If I saw them in a modern museum, I wouldn't be fascinated with them.

If I were a millioner in Netherlands in the seventieth century, I would have wanted to make van Dyke draw the portrait of my wife and put it on the wall of my mansion.

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