The Frick's New Portico Gallery
Tue Dec 13 2011
Photograph: Michael Bodycomb Courtesy The Frick Collection
Early in her tenure as director of the Frick Collection, Anne L. Poulet remembers Colin B. Bailey pointing out a doorway to a colonnade. The narrow space stretches along the institution's limestone facade toward Fifth Avenue, overlooking the thoroughfare, Central Park and the mansion's own gated gardens. Bailey told Poulet the space should be a gallery.
"That stuck with me," says Poulet, who months ago stepped down from her position. But she was on hand to present the realization of the museum's new Portico Gallery for Decorative Arts and Sculpture. Architects from Davis Brody Bond started work in April to enclose the space in specially ordered glass from Mexico and windows that replicate the original Thomas Hastings designs. The design also allows Fifth Avenue passersby to peer into the previously cloistered museum; now they can see people meandering through the gallery during the day, and the sculpture Diana the Huntress illuminated at night.
The culmination of the project marks the Frick's first addition to the building in over 30 years. The exhibition "White Gold" inaugurates the space, showcasing highlights from Henry Arnhold's private collection of porcelain. Arnhold, who helped fund the Portico Gallery, has promised to give his collection to the Frick.
The Frick Collection, 1 E 70th St between Fifth and Madison Aves (212-288-0700, frick.org). Tue--Sat 10am--6pm, Sun 11am--5pm; $18, seniors $12, students with ID $5, children under 10 not admitted, teenagers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult, Sun 11am--1pm pay what you wish.