All photos courtesy of Joseph Coscia Jr.
Here’s your last chance to visit the Frick Madison at its temporary home inside the brutalist icon the Breuer Building. The Frick Collection, which has temporarily resided at 945 Madison Avenue since 2021, is closing its doors on March 3 as the art institution prepares to move back to its newly-renovated, historic home at 1 East 70th Street on the Upper East Side. The museum and its library are expected to reopen later this year.
Designed by Marcel Breuer, the building opened in 1966 as a larger home for the Whitney. At the time, the building’s architectural aesthetic was a sharp contrast to the stately mansions and brownstones of the area. However, over the years the structure has grown to be a beloved landmark and has hosted a variety of world-class art institutions, including a satellite location for the Met for six years.
In February 2021, the Frick relocated to the Breuer Building, a famous Brutalist landmark that was home to the Whitney Museum of American Art until 2016. The move gave the Frick a temporary residence while its permanent home, a Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue, underwent a renovation.
“We will savor our remaining weeks in the Breuer building, which has provided such a unique setting for our permanent collection during the past two and a half years. This remarkable space has provided up-close viewing opportunities for our reframed collections,” Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s Anna-Maria and Stephen Keller Director said.
Wardropper continued: “It has been extremely gratifying to have our efforts at Frick Madison praised by Frick devotees and critics alike, which in turn has helped us to reach new audiences unfamiliar with the institution’s masterworks. We look forward to welcoming both new and returning visitors to be inspired one final time by Frick Madison, before closing the doors of this once-in-a-lifetime installation.”
To celebrate its final months of residency at the Breuer, Frick Madison is hosting a series of free public programming, special installations, and exclusive member offerings. On February 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., the museum is hosting its final free evening, offering exclusive after-hours access to the galleries.
Every Saturday from February 10 through March 2, the museum is offering gallery talks in which Frick educators will share insights into permanent collection works, including Fragonard’s Progress of Love series, Gainsborough’s “The Mall in St. James’s Park,” and El Greco’s “Purification of the Temple.” More information about the programs can be found here.
Visitors can still catch a selection of world-class exhibitions before the museum closes in March. Currently on view at the museum is the special installation “Bellini and Giorgione in the House of Taddeo Contarini,” which marks the first time in more than four centuries that Giovanni Bellini’s “St. Francis in the Desert” and Giorgione’s “Three Philosophers” have been presented in unison.
Also on view is “Nicolas Party and Rosalba Carriera,” a site-specific mural by Swiss-born pastel artist Nicolas Party who was inspired by an 18th-century pastel portrait by Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera from the Frick’s permanent collection. The mural occupies three walls in the museum’s Italian galleries and will remain on view through March 3.
As 6sqft previously reported, the auction house Sotheby’s bought the Breuer from the Whitney last June and plans to move its headquarters there in 2025. Sotheby’s says the building will host free art gallery spaces and exhibitions, as well as a new auction sales room.
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