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Henry Clay Frick made his fortune amid the soot and smoke of Pittsburgh, where he was a coke (a coal fuel derivative) and steel baron, but this lovely museum, once Frick's private New York residence, is decidedly removed from soot. With an exceptional collection of works from the Renaissance through the late 19th century that includes Édouard Manet's The Bullfight (1864), a Chinard portrait bust (1809), three Vermeers, three Rembrandts, works by El Greco, Goya, Van Dyck, Hogarth, Degas, and Turner, as well as sculpture, decorative arts, and 18th-century French furniture, everything here is a highlight. The Portico Gallery, an enclosed portico along the building's 5th Avenue garden, houses the museum's growing collection of sculpture. Be sure to take in the Frick's green spaces while you can; in 2014, the museum announced plans to build a six-story addition to allow for educational programs and conservation facilities, and to accommodate its increased attendance and growing collection.
The plan met with immediate outcry, in part because it will carve into the museum's beautiful viewing garden (a garden that is intended to be appreciated from the street or museum windows—as a work of art in itself), designed by landscape architect Russell Page, but also because it could potentially ruin the intimacy of this house museum. If a proposal is approved, the expansion is expected to begin in 2017(the museum will remain open during renovations). An audio guide, available in several languages, is included with admission, as are the year-round temporary exhibits. The tranquil indoor garden court is a magical spot for a rest. Children under 10 are not admitted, and those ages 10–16 with an adult only.