Review: First Fridays at The Frick Collection, May 5, 2017

Cover image: © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

The line at the First Fridays event at The Frick Collection almost put me off; I didn’t know at first whether I’d get to go in. It was worth the wait in the end.

Live chamber music at The Frick Collection © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

Once having entered its doors, it was impossible not be enchanted by the Frick’s elegance. While patrons sketched the beautiful fountain in the indoor courtyard, the sounds of classical music added to the heavenly effect. As desperate as I was to attend one of the complementary tours, I had to stop and just appreciate the surroundings.

Free Fridays help draw in a younger crowd. © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

The Frick has always seemed the most digestible of all New York City art museums, which showcases several favorites among the classic European paintings. For all my art history training in undergrad however, 19th-century British  painter J.M.W.Turner remained elusive from the course curriculum. Thanks in part to Director Mike Leigh’s 2015 film Mr. Turner, there has been a renewed interest in the artist and his depictions of stormy seas and rustic, coastal ports.

Viewing J.M.W. Turner’s paintings in the Oval Room. © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

The Frick Collection’s special exhibit offered the public a rare opportunity to view some of Turner’s most striking seaport paintings. Among his paintings, however, The Port of Dieppe was the one that really stood out for the sheer amount of detail. As for the others, I could see them but didn’t know how to ‘read’ these works. Fortunately, the half hour lecture on Turner’s works really helped me to understand these unusual paintings.

Patrons enjoyed several galleries of classics. © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

The paintings were indeed beautiful, and the lecture was informative; just enough for a person not familiar with art history to understand, but interesting enough for someone who only wanted to brush up on Turner’s paintings.

Complimentary tours and lectures informative and entertaining. © Lucas Chilczuk Photography / Frick

After the lecture, I did a run through of all my favorite paintings and rooms. Leaving seemed an impossibility but when I did, I did so unwillingly. The buzz in the galleries of people happily enjoying some of Europe’s most iconic classics continued until 9PM.

First Fridays are free to the public © Lucas Chilczuk Photography Frick

For more information on upcoming events and exhibits, visit The Frick Collection.

Hae Jin Kim