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 several ways to observe the other end of the spectrum. How about one of Fifth Avenue’s most magnificent 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.
Make such riches manageable by using this as a place to start your pilgrimage to see eight of the thirty-six paintings attributed to Vermeer, twelve of which reside in American public collections. If I schedule my day, I can see eight of the nine that are in New York, only about nine blocks apart.
The five others are in The Metropolitan Museum at 80th and Fifth Avenue. I will write about that behemoth in another post and suggest ways to wrangle it.
At the Frick:
Officer and Laughing Girl, Mistress and Maid, Girl Interrupted in her Music
At The Metropolitan Museum of Art:
Study of a Young Woman, The Allegory of Faith, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, A Maid Asleep, Woman with a Lute.
Finally, the one you cannot see, in a private collection:
A Young Woman Seated at the Virginal