Since the museum opened in 1935, nearly every visitor has stood at the bottom of the magnificent marble staircase, gazing past the rope and imagining what lies beyond. This plan gives the public access to more of the former Frick residence by opening a series of rooms on the second floor. These spaces, together with a new special exhibition area on the museum’s main floor, introduce 30% more room for the presentation of art.
More intimate than the grand galleries of the main floor, these second-floor spaces are particularly well suited for the display of smaller-scale decorative arts and sculpture as well as drawings and cabinet pictures, many of which are currently in storage. In addition to allowing the Frick to place these artworks on view, the creation these galleries will allow the institution to share more of the beauty of the historic home. These rooms retain many of their original architectural features and decorative finishes, including fireplaces, mahogany paneling, and a series of Edwardian chinoiserie painted ceilings. Visitors will also enjoy access to more of the Central Park views around which the 1914 house was conceived for Henry Clay Frick and his family.