The Frick is a cool museum/art gallery as it’s housed in the former Henry Frick Mansion, so you can see how the other half used to live. Frick amassed an incredible fortune by apparently exploiting steelworkers in 19th century Pittsburgh, before he moved to NYC. The industrial magnate lived flamboyantly and in 1913 built a neo-Classical mansion to match his tastes using the same architects as the iconic midtown New York Public Library, covering a city block at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 70th Street.
Frick’s love of art and massive fortune allowed him to put together a collection of Europe’s most famous artists. Unfortunately he died 5 years after moving into the mansion and according to his wishes, the mansion became a museum in 1930s to publicly showcase his sizable collection.
While best known for paintings from artists such as Rembrandt, Corot, Degas and Goya, the collection features fine furniture, sculptures and porcelain. The paintings in many of the galleries are still arranged according to Frick’s design, even though additional works have been added to the Collection over the years.
One interesting thing that most people don’t know or even get to see, is that the building also contains an underground bowling alley commissioned by Frick in 1914. The antique alley contains mahogany paneled walls, pine and maple lanes and custom made set of balls. After his death, the bowling alley was abandoned until The Collection restored it to its former glory in ’97 but keeps it under tight lock and key.
The Frick 1 E 70th St New York, NY 10021