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Although I have lived in New York for more than two years and have been visiting here all my life, I somehow never made it to the Frick Collection until last weekend. Their own collection is stellar, and they are currently hosting a small exhibition of Old Master paintings from the Cleveland Museum of Art while that institution is undergoing a major renovation/expansion. Knowing that that show was about to close, I gathered up a girlfriend and made a genteel Sunday afternoon of lunch, gallery-browsing, and window-shopping on Madison Ave. (luckily, she’s as poor as I am, so there was no competitive shopping pressure). I’m so glad I finally made it up there! I like small museums where you don’t feel the pressure either to race through to get your 5-seconds’ fill of all the brand-name art or to budget an entire day so you don’t miss anything. The art is arranged in the drawing rooms and ballrooms of a Beaux-Art Upper East Side mansion, and a leisurely two laps through all the galleries took us about an hour, plus a brief rest in the central courtyard to listen to the fountain. The selection of 14 paintings from the Cleveland museum was very impressive, including Caravaggio’s huge Crucifixion of St. Andrew, pictured above. From the Frick’s own collection, I most enjoyed the Vermeers and a fantastic portrait by Titian. And, best of all, by flashing my MoMA badge at the admissions lady, we both got in free!

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