Lady with her Maid
Holding a Letter

(Jan Vermeer

Museums can be overwhelming, but the Frick Collection is a manageable museum that can be seen in a 1-2 hour visit. Located on the corner of East 70th Street and Fifth Avenue, the museum has a small but impressive collection, including three paintings by Jan Vermeer. I’m a Vermeer enthusiast. There are only 34-35 Vermeer’s known to exist, and with three at the Frick and five at the Met, New York City is the Vermeer capital of the world.

The Frick’s Facade facing Fifth Avenue

The museum is housed in the former residence (mansion) of Henry Clay Frick, a Pittsburgh steel baron of the late 19th century, and the building is perhaps even more impressive than the art. Erected in 1913-1914, the museum takes you back in time to America’s gilded age where money could buy almost anything. The lavish decor, the paneled rooms, and the ornate staircase (with pipe organ) belong in an Edith Wharton novel. I hope to go back on a Sunday afternoon because during the summer there’s an artist in residence who gives free drawing lessons in the Frick garden. 

The Frick’s Garden.
Unfortunately, it’s rarely open to the public.