the ARTistry of ARThistory occasionally done ARTfully

Rant: Neither Medieval Nor All That Artful

Posted by gninja on June 24, 2007

My alternate subtitle, by the by, was “Take This Art and Shove It!”

I’m not really supposed to be bloggerizing– I’m supposed to be Latinizing–but I just get so mad sometimes…

The venerable Frick Collection of NYC, admittedly one of my favorite galleries in the city. Small, beautifully appointed, and possessing a pretty spectacular range for its size– is now on my shit list, though I doubt they care. They should’ve been relegated there earlier, but I’m coming to this information late, it seems.

They don’t allow children under 10 to visit the gallery. Period. No children.



The Collection attempts to preserve the ambience of Mr. Frick’s private house, and visitors are therefore asked to observe regulations necessary for protecting the works of art and their domestic setting. Because few ropes or cases are used to guard fragile objects, children under ten are not admitted to the Collection, and those under sixteen must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, see Children or download our Policy on the Admission of Children (Adobe Acrobat required).

Sure, a day at the Frick may not be the most exciting way for a ten-year-old to spend her day, but what the hell? There seems little reason to their policy aside from their simply being stuffy assholes. I love, by the by, how there’s a section devoted to this policy, too.


Allow me to relate a brief anecdote. Last October, a seminar I attended went to the Frick one day for class. This seminar was taught by university professor Richard Brilliant, yes, Richard Brilliant. He was continually hassled by the guards there because of the Frick’s policy on lecturing.


Policy on lecturing?

Group Visits

Group visits are by appointment only. Lecturing in the galleries is prohibited. For more information, see Group Visits.

Oh, that, policy on lecturing. It seems disseminating knowledge and discussing art in an art freaking gallery is somehow offensive to the legacy of Mr. Frick. I get it. Brilliant, like the gentleman he is, agreed pleasantly to comply and then resumed lecturing us each time a guard came by to harrass him. After the trip, he wrote a pretty harsh letter to the gallery and then read it to us for our approval before sending it off. I really love that man.

Anyway, people have to pay insane admission charges to get in to the gallery. I guess the assumption is that they’re all wealthy and of employable age enough to pay someone from The Frick staff to tell them exactly what each work of art means and why it’s important. No questions!



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