Bellini, Fragonard, Velázquez. That’s just a fragment of the monumental free online exhibition that spans from Rennaisance painting to Chinese sculpture.
If Henry Clay Frick lived today, he wouldn’t have many reasons to leave his house, pandemic or not.
The famous New York industrialist launched his career in the late 19th century and, given his natural talent for business, quickly expanded his empire. Being not only a skilled salesman, but also a connoisseur of art, he soon began purchasing French furniture, oriental rugs, and marble statues that decorated his estates. More importantly, he also started surrounding himself with Old Masters’ artworks, to the extent that by the end of his life in 1919, his private collection of paintings, objects, and curiosities could be rivaled only by prominent European museums.
It comes as no surprise that The Frick Collection, which is open to the public at the tycoon’s impressive residence in Manhattan, counts among the world’s most significant cultural treasures. It includes such masterpieces as Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Progress of Love or Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert, which represent the pinnacles of French Rococo and Italian Rennaisance, respectively. Nevertheless, the sections of decorative arts and sculpture are just as impressive.
While many museums and galleries went into shutdown unprepared, virtual tours have been an essential part of the Frick Collection for years. Yet, following the coronavirus countermeasures, the institution expanded its digital realm further and now offers an experience so rich in detail that you can study every piece of the collection in all its beauty.
The online trip to the Henry Clay Frick House lets you tour all exhibition rooms of the building in 360 degrees. The entire display is clickable and linked to extensive research materials. In addition, each story contains a high-resolution image of the selected object that allows you to zoom in so close that you can observe mere brush strokes or hardware embellishments.
The whole interactive journey is free, but the art adventure doesn’t end there: The Frick Collection also organizes free YouTube lectures on selected themes from the exhibitions and has even launched a quirky podcast called Cocktails with a Curator. New episodes, which give “insights on a work of art with a complementary cocktail,” air every Friday.
Who knew Bellini goes so well with Vermouth and Bourbon?