I’ve written about going to sit in the spacious pre-war apartment of Majorie Eliot to listen to her play jazz with her friends. There are a few ways to observe the other end of the spectrum including one of Fifth Avenue’s most formal private houses, The Frick Mansion on the corner of 70th and Fifth Avenue.
Now called The Frick Collection, it contains the tycoon’s preciously curated collection. But nothing Frick himself acquired—about ⅔ of the collection—can be loaned, so my advice is to go at least once, to see for yourself. There is no other way.
Manage such riches by simplifying: use this visit as the start of your pilgrimage to see eight of the thirty-six paintings attributed to Vermeer, twelve of which reside in American public collections. If you schedule your time you can see eight of the nine that are in New York, only about nine blocks apart.
There are four here; five others are in The Metropolitan Museum at 80th and Fifth Avenue. I will write about that behemoth in other posts suggesting ways to wrangle it.
Finally, the one you cannot see, in a private collection:
A Young Woman Seated at the Virginal, pictured.
Here, a link to a mildly interesting Vermeer website.