The Frick Collection has announced that it will reopen to the public in early 2021 in the former site of the Whitney Museum of American Art at 945 Madison Avenue. The temporary location, called Frick Madison, will house the Frick’s collections, programs, and staff during the renovation and expansion of its historic buildings at 1 East 70th Street. Following a rigorous public review of the design by Selldorf Architects, the Frick is planning to break ground early in 2021, with pre-construction preparations beginning this fall. The project marks the institution’s first comprehensive renovation in eighty-five years. It will create new gallery spaces for the display of the permanent collection and special exhibitions; make more of the original residence accessible to the public; improve education, library, and conservation resources; and upgrade visitor amenities and accessibility throughout the museum and library.
From early 2021 through 2022, Frick Madison will present an installation of collection highlights organized for the first time chronologically and geographically. The presentation of paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts is overseen by Xavier F. Salomon, the Frick’s Deputy Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, in conjunction with Curator Aimee Ng. Installed in the iconic modernist Marcel Breuer building, the presentation will focus on masterworks in the permanent collection, inviting new perspectives while still offering the intimate experience for which the Frick is known. Frick Madison will also include a reading room with resources of the Frick Art Reference Library available to researchers as well as the general public.
“As we continue to navigate these challenging and unprecedented times, we are thrilled to move forward with our long-planned renovation, which is critical to ensure the ongoing vitality of the institution, one of New York’s most cherished cultural treasures,” said Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director of the Frick. “It is immensely gratifying to be able to provide the opportunity for the public to experience our museum and library collections during a period when they otherwise would not be accessible due to construction. We hope that Frick Madison will spark new insights and ideas inspired by the installation of our holdings in another distinguished but very different setting.”
Added Elizabeth Eveillard, Chair of the Frick’s Board of Trustees, “We are pleased to embark on our measured renovation, knowing that the Frick’s legacy will be preserved for the next generation of visitors. We remain grateful for all the support and public input we received along the way.”
Peter Blanchard III, a descendant of founder Henry Clay Frick and a Trustee of the institution, noted, “I believe my great-grandfather would be enormously proud of how the museum and library have evolved over time and the worldwide esteem in which the Frick is held. This next phase for the Frick is an important milestone in the institution’s history. At its heart lies a commitment to the ‘Frick Experience’—the chance to intimately engage with incredible works of art.”
Further details about the exhibition program at Frick Madison will be announced in the coming months, along with information about education and public programs, Frick Art Reference Library resources, and extended membership benefits. In the meantime, the Frick recently launched a guide on the free Bloomberg Connects app. Audiences may explore the museum and library from the comfort of their own homes or use it on-site next year at Frick Madison. It is available for both iOS and Android via the Apple App and Google Play Stores.