Two Collections “As townhouse museums, ‘jewel-like’ in their perfection”

Items from New York City’s Frick Collection are currently on view at the Mauritshuis in The Hague, The Netherlands.

As the Frick’s leadership is abroad, overseeing the installation and speaking to international press about this loan, there is an important opportunity: to see, first-hand, what creative expansion and modernization looks like, and to bring these lessons back to East 70th Street in New York!

Beginning in-conversation with the Frick’s chief curator, Dr. Xavier Salomon, Newsweek reports:

‘We think of ourselves as sister institutions with paintings displayed in houses not galleries. And our collections are similar sizes.’ Both the Frick and Mauritshuis are often referred to as townhouse museums, ‘jewel-like’ in their perfection. The director of the Mauritshuis, Dr Emilie Gordenker, agrees it’s a marriage made in commercial heaven. ‘I think that the Frick comes closest to us as an institution,’ she says. ‘We both occupy buildings that were built to be lived in. It’s an intimate and human scale. And this exhibition was always a quid pro quo.’

The combination of underground expansion and acquisition of nearby property allowed the Mauritshuis to “double the size of the museum without spoiling the allure” of its intimacy and scale.

Cross-section_Mauritshuis_The-Hague_cropped

 Section view of the Mauritshuis’s underground expansion which connects to
additional space in adjacent buildings. Via All Art News, 2013.

The Mauritshuis in The Netherlands, the Cooper Hewitt in New York City … numerous alternatives to readily inspire responsible modernization at the Frick!

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