Selected Press


The Frick Collection Will Close Its Temporary Breuer Space and Reopen Its Newly Overhauled Mansion in 2024

The museum has lined up a number of landmark exhibitions before it bids farewell to its Breuer space.

By: Eileen Kinsella (online)
April 21, 2023

“After two-plus years of occupying a temporary home on Madison Avenue at the historic Breuer building, Manhattan’s beloved Frick Museum has announced it will be closing the space on March 3, 2024. It will spend the next several months winding down operations and preparing to return its priceless Old Master art collection and operations to its completely overhauled longtime home at the Frick Mansion at One East 70th Street. Though no exact date has been specified yet, museum leaders revealed for the first time to Artnet News that they will reopen the mansion to the public in late 2024.

‘We realized that we are sure we are now going to be able to hit our target reopening date,” said Ian Wardropper, whose full title is Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen director, in a phone interview with Artnet News. “All I know is that for sure it will be before the end of 2024.’ After the March closure at the Breuer, there will be a gap of about six months where both sites are closed before the mansion reopens.

And it’s only fitting that after the twists and turns of the past few years—from vacating its longtime home to navigating a collection move at the height of the pandemic—the 85-year-old museum is leaving the Breuer building on a high note, with several landmark exhibitions and an exciting new contemporary “intervention” from a star artist.”

The New York Times

Frick Announces Plans for Its Two-Year Stay in Breuer Building
While its mansion is under renovation, the Frick will show its permanent collection in the Brutalist building owned by the Whitney and recently occupied by the Met.

By: Robin Pogrebin
Sept. 30, 2020 (online)
“In the past, you might have seen Velázquez in a corner of the West Gallery, the Goyas in the East Gallery, and St. Jerome over the fireplace in the central Living Hall. But in the Breuer building on Madison Avenue, all of the Frick Collection’s Spanish holdings will hang together. This is one of the new ways — to be announced Wednesday — in which the Frick’s collection of paintings, sculptures, works on paper and decorative arts will be presented when the museum moves into its temporary digs in the Breuer, which it is calling Frick Madison, sometime early next year. The Frick’s two-year tenure in the Breuer — the 1966 Brutalist building owned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and recently occupied by the Metropolitan Museum of Art — will allow the Frick to continue exhibitions while its 1914 Gilded Age mansion on Fifth Avenue undergoes renovation.

‘We’re taking advantage of a totally different space,’ Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s director, said in an interview. ‘They won’t have the rich bath of the Gilded Age to luxuriate in — they will have to stand on their own more. It’s an opportunity for us to re-examine the collection — how it looks in a fresh context,’ he added. ‘The main thing is that we are able to continue to present the collection; otherwise during construction we would have gone completely dark and our holdings would have gone into storage.’”

The Art Newspaper

New York’s Frick Collection will open in Madison Avenue Location in Early 2021
By: Nancy Kenney
July 20, 2020 (online)
“The Frick Collection announced today that it would reopen to the public in early 2021 in the Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue, which has been operated since 2016 as a satellite of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It did not give a precise date. The Frick has long planned to use the Modernist Breuer building, which it will redub Frick Madison, as a temporary viewing space for highlights of its permanent collection during the renovation and expansion of its historic buildings on East 70th Street. It plans to break ground on that $160m construction project next year…

The reopening of the museum at East 70th Street is currently targeted for mid-2023, he [Ian Wardropper, Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Director] says. The renovation and expansion will create new gallery spaces on the second floor of the mansion, which was not previously open to visitors, an education center, a state-of-the-art auditorium and new conservation studios while also upgrading visitor amenities. It is the museum’s first comprehensive renovation in 85 years. The Frick plans to revert to its traditional mode of presentation when the art returns to East 70th Street, Wardropper says, recreating “beloved” galleries of Old Master paintings and other objects. The director says that the museum is drawing closer to its fund-raising target for the capital project each month but did not specify a figure. He said he had been gratified to see contributions flow in even amid the coronavirus crisis. ‘It will be a glorious and triumphal return,’ he says of the East 70th Street reopening, ‘and a renewed opportunity for us to show more of the collection.’”

New York Social Diary

History in the Making: Party Pictures
By: NYSD staff
May 9, 2019 (online)
“In his remarks and the program for the event Mark Alexander discussed how the Frick merited being this year’s honoree: as an institution that represents a cultural gem of the Upper East Side, and, most particularly, how the museum and library responded to community feedback on its building renovation proposal. He characterized the Frick as a good neighbor in its willingness to listen to feedback and respond with a considered revision and a renewed plan, this time by Selldorf Architects. He added, ‘After a series of meetings and presentations by Frick staff and consultants, CIVITAS decided to offer its full-throated support to their new expansion and renovation plan. CIVITAS, tonight, honors The Frick Collection and its leader Ian Wardropper for their exceptional effort to listen and learn from their biggest fans and critics in their neighborhood.’”

Untapped Cities

NYC Makers: A Q&A with Richard Southwick, Architect for the TWA Hotel
By: Michelle Young
May 8, 2019 (online)
“Welcome to the new Untapped Cities series, NYC Makers, where we profile the city’s movers and shakers, the people changing and making the city before our very eyes. Our first Q&A is with architect Richard Southwick, Partner and Director of Historic Preservation at Beyer Blinder Belle. Southwick’s latest project is the highly anticipated TWA Hotel, which opens May 15th…Beyer Blinder Belle has also been behind some of the most high-profile restorations and projects through the city, including Grand Central Terminal, The Frick Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Botanical Garden, and many more.”

The Art Newspaper

Met to leave Breuer building, making way for the Frick
By: Victoria Stapley-Brown, Nancy Kenney, Helen Stoilas
September 21, 2018 (online)
“…In an unusual game of musical chairs, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Frick announced today (21 September) that it will vacate the Brutalist Breuer building on Madison Avenue in 2020. It’s departure will make way for the Frick Collection to move in late that year while its mansion undergoes a renovation and expansion five blocks away…The Frick says the move will allow it to avoid closing entirely to the public during the construction work on its 1914 stately mansion, which is expected to start in mid-to late 2020. The expansion still awaits public approval by a city zoning agency, the Board of Standards and Appeals, and the Frick does not submit its application to the board until late this month, says Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s Director.”

New York Times

Frick’s Expansion is Approved by Landmarks Preservation Board
By Robin Pogrebin
June 26, 2018 (online); June 27, 2018 (print)
“In a major victory for the Frick Collection, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday approved the museum’s latest plan to expand and renovate its 1914 Gilded Age mansion — the institution’s fourth such attempt to gain more space for its exhibitions and public programs. ‘They recognized the strength of the plan to upgrade the building to ensure the long term vibrancy of the Frick,’ said Ian Wardropper, the Frick’s director. ‘The public process can be painful, but we listened and I think the project is better because of that.’… Peg Breen, the president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which opposed the Frick’s previous proposal in 2015, called the Frick’s revised plan — by Annabelle Selldorf in collaboration with the architecture firm Beyer Blinder Belle —‘a very respectful addition.’”

Wall Street Journal

A Design for the Frick Forgoes Flash
By Julie Iovine
June 6, 2018 (online); June 7, 2018 (print)
“…Selldorf Architects has proposed carefully calibrated insertions that fulfill the goals of the original plan without unduly disturbing the museum’s inviting house museum vibe. The museum boasts that the alterations won’t even be visible to visitors approaching along Fifth Avenue. Notably, the small, gated side garden designed in the 1970s by Russell Page—the removal of which was a flashpoint for the opposition’s ire—will not only be saved, but restored. … The Frick’s central mission to show an extraordinary collection of Titians, Turners, Rembrandts, Renoirs and more in a family-sized setting will be buttressed by a new dedicated education center with orientation spaces, classrooms and a separate group entrance…The new plan isn’t geared to draw larger crowds, but rather to keep its 300,000 or so steady visitors quietly entranced when visiting a transformed but still intimate museum—an altogether more admirable ambition.”

New York Times

Frick Collection, With Fourth Expansion Plan, Crosses Its Fingers Again
By Robin Pogrebin
April 4, 2018 (online); April 5, 2018 (print)
“The new plan, by the architect — which the Frick board approved Wednesday — has situated several new elements precisely so that each provides a tranquil view of the garden: a renovated lobby; a newly created second level above the reception hall; and a new education center, cafe and expanded museum shop. In addition, the garden will be restored by Lynden B. Miller, a garden designer and preservationist, in keeping with Page’s original vision. And rather than build over the garden, as previously planned, the Frick will now build beneath it, creating a 220-seat underground auditorium to better accommodate educational and public programs.”

New York Magazine

This Time, a Much More Promising Attempt to Fix the Frick
By Justin Davidson
April 13, 2018
“The Frick is tiptoeing back into the fray, and I hope it will take less fire this time. Back then, I suggested to [Director Ian] Wardropper that he take the board on a field trip up Fifth Avenue to look at Annabelle Selldorf’s 2001 renovation of the Neue Galerie. What had struck me there was the finesse with which her firm modernized a nearly century-old Beaux-Arts mansion without resorting to the extremes of slavish reproduction or ostentatious contrast. It’s gratifying to see the Frick wind up where it should have been all along and hire Selldorf for the next iteration. … The Landmarks and Preservation Commission still has to sign off on the plan. I hope they give clear instructions to both architect and client: You’ve found the right direction.”

The Art Newspaper

The Frick’s Expansion is a Sensitive, Elegant Plan
By Brian Allen
April 24, 2018
“The first order of business in a building project involving so lovely a setting as the Frick Collection is ‘do no harm’. Its new renovation and addition plan not only meets this surprisingly tough standard but achieves its goals with a sure, light touch.”

The Art Newspaper

Fourth time’s a charm: Frick Collection announces new renovation and expansion plans
By Victoria Stapley-Brown
April 4, 2018 (online)
“The current permanent collection galleries, in the former home’s first floor, will remain unchanged. ‘Our proposed design is the result of an unwavering commitment to maintaining the intimate experience of viewing art at the Frick that is unique and special to so many—myself included,’ the architect Annabelle Selldorf says in a statement. The museum’s press release promises that only ‘minimal changes to the exterior’ will be noticeable from Fifth Avenue and 71st Street.”

Architectural Record

Frick Collection Reveals Selldorf Architects’ Design for Renovation
By Miriam Sitz
April 4, 2018 (online)
“Selldorf’s understated design makes minimal changes to the 1914 building’s exterior and retains the 70th Street garden, which will be restored by preservationist and garden designer Lynden B. Miller. The Frick’s main 1930s entrance on 70th Street will remain the same, but the reception hall will be reconfigured (its circular stair down to lower levels will be removed and replaced, to improve circulation). Raising the height of the lobby only five feet, the architects will create a new level for a shop, the museum’s first café, and a sitting area with views of the garden. A new 220-seat auditorium will be built below grade, in the existing basement spaces beneath the garden, and a dedicated education center, accessible through the library entrance on 71st street, will better serve school groups. Also, the Frick family’s private living quarters on the second floor will be open to visitors for the first time as a gallery.”


The Frick Collection unveils Selldorf Architects’ expansion scheme
By Justine Testado
April 5, 2018 (online)
“A series of rooms on the second floor will be opened to the public and serve as permanent collection gallery spaces, while a special exhibition area will be added on the main floor — introducing 30 percent more space for art display. The renovation also includes the Frick’s first dedicated education center, an auditorium for educational and public programs, modernized conservation laboratories, upgraded visitor amenities, and improved overall accessibility.” 

Interior Design

Selldorf Architects Reveals First Images of Frick Expansion
By Anna Gibertini
April 5, 2018 (online)
“In 2016, the Frick Collection, a world-renowned art institution located on New York City’s Museum Mile, announced the expansion and upgrade of their historic estate location. The museum selected Selldorf Architects to lead the project, and the firm just released new renderings and photography of their vision for the new Frick. According to the museum’s press release, this project will constitute the first comprehensive upgrade to the historic Henry Clay Frick residence since it opened to the public in 1935. Hard construction is estimated to reach $160 million, with a final figure forthcoming.” 

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
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
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
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
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…”


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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