The Frick Collection’s summer party made its debut in 2008 and was quickly hailed as one of the most memorable social events of the year. Now held annually, it sold out with about 500 guests attending—an unprecedented response. This benefit reception brought people into the otherwise private outdoor gardens around the mansion and proved to be an apt celebration of the season with cocktails and jazz throughout. Proceeds from the Garden Party support the full range of programs at the Frick, including educational and curatorial initiatives and Library activities.
The outdoor gardens of the Frick are highly visible, but seldom entered, and this benefit gives unusual access to them. This year’s event particularly highlighted the grand elevated Fifth Avenue Garden, which is adjacent to the newly opened and award-winning Portico Gallery. The intimate 70th Street Garden (designed by Russell Page and not regularly open to the public either) was open to guests as well, who gathered around the pond of lily pads and lotus. Inside the mansion, attendees strolled through the signature Garden Court and the historic permanent collection galleries, which feature masterpieces by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Fragonard, Holbein, Houdon, Goya, Gainsborough, Velázquez, Renoir, and others. In the Oval Room, they could view the museum’s special exhibition Gold, Jasper, and Carnelian: Johann Christian Neuber at the Saxon Court.
Cocktails (among them a signature Ivy Gimlet featuring Beluga Vodka) and wine (generously donated by Schneider Selections) were served in the gardens. Refreshments were accompanied by a variety of savory hors d’oeuvres, and later in the evening, passed desserts. A jazz quartet provided music on the terrace in the Fifth Avenue Garden.
The evening was underwritten in part by Edmund Hollander Landscape Architects.