Henry Clay Frick, also of 66 Swiss origin, was a steel magnate who, like other American multi-millionaires of the early 20th century, set aside part of his fortune for acquiring works of art. The museum used to be his home, so you can get some idea of how rich New Yorkers used to live.
There is an 18th-century French boudoir with 8 panels commissioned from Francois Boucher by Madame de Pompadour; a Fragonard salon containing an assortment of fine pieces; the dining room has portraits by Hogarth, Reynolds and Gainsborough; other treasures include El Greco’s St. Jerome as Cardinal, Holbein portraits, Philip of Spain by Velazquez, Education of the Virgin byde La Tour. Dutch landscapes, some striking full-length portraits by James Whistler, and three splendid Rembrandts. The carpets. the furniture and the exhibits are all priceless. You can attend chamber music concerts on Sundays in winter; write in advance for the free tickets.
Whitney Museum of American Art, Madison Avenue at 75th Street. Open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. other days and noon to 6 p. m. on Sundays; closed Mondays. Free Tuesday evenings.