Selected Press


New York Times

Frick Collection Names Selldorf Architects for its Renovation
By Robin Pogrebin
October 20, 2016
“On Thursday, the board approved the selection of Annabelle Selldorf’s architecture firm, whose projects have included the Neue Galerie in Manhattan and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. ‘She’s somebody who has a clear vision of respect for historical buildings but at the same time has a clean, elegant, modernist aesthetic that is very much about welcoming visitors today,’ said Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s director. In coming up with a new design, Ms. Selldorf has been charged with improving circulation in the Frick’s galleries, library and public spaces, while maintaining the museum’s existing footprint and preserving its jewel-box character. A late Gilded Age mansion, it was designed from 1912-14 by Thomas Hastings for the industrialist Henry Clay Frick.”


Wall Street Journal

Frick Taps Annabelle Selldorf to Design New Expansion Plan
By Jennifer Smith
October 20, 2016
“Founded by the German-born architect Annabelle Selldorf, the firm is known for its restrained touch on projects that range from the Neue Galerie, also located along Museum Mile, to high-end condominiums and art galleries. Ms. Selldorf’s firm also renovated two buildings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Mass. The project at the Frick, a beloved jewel box of a museum, ‘is not about leaving a mark,’ Ms. Selldorf said in an interview Wednesday, ‘but really about enhancing what they have and working with the building.’ …The Frick’s leaders also had a useful point of comparison: the 1914 Neue Galerie building was designed by Carrère and Hastings, the renowned firm that also built industrialist Henry Clay Frick’s Fifth Avenue mansion during the same period. Such projects, Ms. Selldorf said, require sensitive planning and a deep understanding of an institution’s needs.‘In this case, there is a personality and an entity that exists that everybody loves,’ she said. ‘I feel like I knew it well as a visitor, and now our task is getting to know it even better.’”


Time Out New York

Having Abandoned its Controversial Expansion the Frick Comes Up with Plan B
By Howard Halle
March 29, 2016
“…there’s merit to the case for expansion. Anyone who’s visited The Frick on a weekend knows the place gets packed and that there are waiting lines to enter. There’s also the fact that temporary exhibitions tend to be intimate affairs mounted in the museum’s smaller rooms. Why? Because, larger shows, like the Frick’s current Van Dyck offering, necessitate temporarily removing all or part of the vaunted permanent collection. The situation serves neither the viewer nor a museum whose program shouldn’t be kept static.”


Wall Street Journal

Once Rebuffed, Frick Collection Restarts Its Expansion Push
By Pia Catton
March 24, 2016
“‘The Frick receives about 300,000 visitors a year, but because it is a home retrofitted as a museum and library, improvements are needed to accommodate the growth of the collection, programming and visits,’ said Mr. Wardropper. The expansion’s main goals include increased gallery space for special exhibitions and the permanent holdings, as well as improved back-of-house areas for the unloading of artworks and a more direct connection from the museum to the reference library. Also on the wish list: areas for conservation work, educational programs and a potentially overhauled auditorium. The Frick’s small theater, used for concerts and lectures, currently seats 164 but will reduce to 147 due to more strict application of fire-code regulations by the city.‘We are more and more turning people away from the auditorium because we simply don’t have enough space,’ said Mr. Wardopper. Opening up the second floor, where bedrooms were converted to administrative offices, has been part of plans for decades, but has now become a priority.‘That’s really a key for us,’ said Mr. Wardropper. ‘It allows us to show more of the permanent collection and allows the public to access more of the original house.’”


New York Times

Frick Collection to Revise Renovation to Preserve Garden
By Robin Pogrebin
March 24, 2016
“‘While the Frick abandoned its earlier renovation plan, designed by Davis Brody Bond — which called for a six-story addition that eliminated the gated garden on East 70th Street — its space constraints have remained the same, if not ‘become more pressing,’ Mr. Wardropper said, as evidenced by its current popular van Dyck exhibition. ‘We need more facilities in order to mount a major show like that, without taking down the permanent collection to do it,’ Mr. Wardropper said. ‘We’re essentially a house that’s been retrofitted as a museum and the flow of our visitors is something that’s always been a problem.’”


New York Daily News

Let the New Frick Flower
Editorial
April 27, 2015
“… architects and community activists say the Landmarks Preservation Commission must save the garden because the neighborhood is designated a historic district. Here is preservationism run amok: A privately owned garden must be kept a garden forever rather than let a top cultural institution to add gallery, lecture and education space while integrating the museum with the Frick Art Reference Library. Plus improve access for people with disabilities, who enter the museum via a below-grade service ramp used for garbage, with those in larger motorized wheelchairs having to change to smaller wheelchairs to get into century-old elevators. Plus create a new garden that is more than half the size of the present one and that visitors will be able to actually enter. While the locals love the garden as it is, the time has come to let the new Frick flower.”


Real Estate Weekly

Frick Expansion Is Good for New York
By Steve Spinola
April 1, 2015
“As an institution which purchased land in anticipation of this growth several years ago, we need to permit the Frick to use their space in a way that is appropriate to its existing status as a New York City Landmark. Ultimately, while having a view of a garden is a pleasant amenity to living nearby, it is important to allow our vital cultural institutions to grow, especially when that growth is a direct necessity in preserving our rich history and improving our environment. We hope the Landmark Preservation Commission will approve an appropriate plan for the Frick’s proposed expansion and enable the museum to take the next step in its own impressive history.”


Architectural Record

Newsmaker: Carl Krebs
Interview
February 12, 2015
“It’s going to utilize the same Indiana limestone as the Carrère and Hastings building, and it will have a similar compositional order. This may seem odd to some people, but the Frick today has a remarkable sense of cohesion and unity. You can’t take that lightly. It’s not one of the museums that has become a collage of styles.” (speaker Carl Krebs is partner with David Brody Bond, architects of the Frick building project).


The Architect’s Newspaper

A Bright Future for the Frick
Letter to the Editor
February 9, 2015
“As a longtime New Yorker and lover of the Frick, I want this revered museum to stay (it will) the same; and I also want it to keep renewing itself (it could) in fresh and exciting ways, as every great institution must do or—over time—be diminished…..The time is now; given the chance, the glorious Frick Collection could become even grander, even more beloved than it now is. I devoutly hope it will have that chance.”


Crain’s New York Business

Expand the Frick Museum: The Public Benefits Offset the Lost Views of a Privileged Few
Editorial
January 4, 2015
“The museum’s thoughtfully updated and designed proposal, which requires both a zoning exception and landmarks commission approval, is to replace the private garden with a public one on the roof of a new addition…We side with the other 8.3 million New Yorkers and 55 million tourists who would get a garden they can visit—and a vastly superior “house museum” experience, too.”


WSJReprintThe Wall Street Journal

In Defense of the Frick
By Julie V. Iovine
Dec. 16, 2014
The current expansion plan continues the original ambition to show art in Pope’s original house museum while moving the increasingly cumbersome sideshow of offices, shop, cafe, coat check and auditorium into adjacent new spaces.”


WSJReprintThe Wall Street Journal

Flak Over the Frick Collection’s Expansion Plans
By Jennifer Smith
Dec. 11, 2014
“The latest proposed renovation would open up another floor of the mansion to the public, converting offices in the Fricks’ former private living quarters to gallery space. The first-floor music room would become a dedicated exhibition space. Some departments and offices would move to the new wing, which would replace the reception hall and 70th Street garden with an enlarged hall, new auditorium and classroomsTopped by a rooftop garden, the addition would stair-step in height along 70th Street, matching the elevation of the Frick mansion to the west, then rising to join with the six-story library, which has its entrance on East 71st Street.”


Our Town

Let the Frick Build
Editorial
Dec. 10, 2014
“What the Frick has proposed is not only modest – its new addition would be only six floors high – but appropriately in scale with the neighborhood and the Frick’s own ambitions. Desperately needed exhibition space would be added, by moving administrative offices out of the original mansion, and the entrance foyer would be transformed … “


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New York’s Frick Collection To Expand
By Marylynne Pitz
Nov. 23, 2014
“For nearly 80 years, visitors to a New York art museum called the Frick Collection have stood behind a velvet rope at the bottom of a sweeping marble staircase and longed to see the private rooms upstairs…”


The New York Times

The Garden at the Frick, and How it Grew
By Christopher Gray
Nov. 14, 2014
“Although it originated as a private house in 1914, Mr. Frick’s creation has evolved into twice its original size as part of its conversion to a museum in 1935…”


The Magazine Antiques

No Growing Pains at the Frick Collection
By James Gardner
June 24, 2014
“If ever a museum were justified in expanding, it is the Frick, especially in expanding exactly as the Frick intends to do…”


The New Yorker

Expanding the Frick: Let the Hard Hats Come
By Peter Schjeldahl
June 16, 2014
“The past half-century has seen the evolution of art love from the passion of eccentric individuals to something of a mass pastime. The stated mission of Henry Clay Frick, to provide a place “for the use and benefit of all persons whomsoever,” has been fulfilled beyond his possible dreams…”


Hyperallergic

Living Quarters: The Frick Collection Expansion
By Laura C. Mallonee – Hyperallergic
June 16, 2014
“The second-floor rooms are set to be converted into galleries, providing a home for those members of the museum’s 1,200-item permanent collection which have until now been banished to storage. Images of the upstairs reveal casual, laid-back quarters where the Frick family slept, studied and took breakfast — a sharp contrast to their former home’s opulent downstairs space…”


Blouin Art Info

All-in-All, A Good Plan at the Frick
By Judith H. Dobrzynski
June 11, 2014
“Frick director Ian Wardropper and trustees have hired Davis Brody Bond as the architect, and their plan seems sensitive to history…”


ArtsJournal Blogs: CulturGrrrl

Beaux Arts on Botox: The Frick Collection’s Planned Expansion
By Lee Rosenbaum
June 11, 2014
“…there’s no question that it’s long overdue and sorely needed (as witness to three previous scotched expansion plans). The cramped underground special-exhibition galleries are, to my mind, inadequate, unappealing and unworthy of the superlative quality of much that has been displayed there. Included in the expanded gallery space will be the sumptuous, previously off-limits upstairs rooms, to be used for permanent-collection display. In all, there will be 50% more space for temporary exhibitions, 24% more for the permanent collection….”

“Davis Brody Bond has a good track record in New York for resourcefully working within the constraints of existing spaces, both in its restoration, adaptive reuse and expansion of the flagship Carrère and Hastings building of the New York Public Library (predating Norman Foster’s controversial, ill-fated involvement) and in its functional, sensitive design of the interior spaces of the just opened 9/11 Memorial Museum…”


The New York Times

Frick Seeks to Expand Beyond Jewel-Box Spaces
By Robin Pogrebin
June 9, 2014
“Just as Pope extended the Frick on the 71st Street side in 1935, so would this project now do so on the 70th Street, museum officials said. ‘There’s a language that got set here architecturally at the very beginning and it has governed everything that’s happened ever since,’ said William J. Higgins, a specialist in landmarks issues who is a consultant to the Frick. The extension would give the Frick 50 percent more space for temporary exhibitions and 24 percent more for its permanent collection of some 1,200 works, by artists like Degas, El Greco, Manet and Renoir.”

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