4. The Only Time Frick’s Magnolia Tree Didn’t Bloom Was After Bill Cunningham’s Death

Celebrated New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham loved the Frick, and photographed it often. The spring after he died, the magnolia trees failed to bloom for the first time in their history, recalls Heidi Rosenau, The Frick’s Associate Director of Media Relations & Marketing.

While the Fifth Avenue Garden as a whole had been designed in the early 1930s by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., son of Central Park‘s planner, the three magnolia trees were planted later, in 1939. The two trees on the lower tier are Saucer Magnolias (Magnolia soulangeana) while the tree on the upper tier adjacent to the flagpole is a Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata). They are pruned yearly to maintain their generous shape in proportion to the block-long limestone facade. Bill Cunningham loved them, and they apparently loved Bill Cunningham.

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One thought on “The Top 15 Secrets of The Frick Collection in NYC

  1. Wouldn’t the assassination of Abraham Lincoln by a group of conspirators who also tried to kill Seward and Johnson count as an act of terrorism? The word has almost lost all meaning, but surely any comparison between the attempt to kill Frick and the murder of Lincoln would place the two horrific events on the same level of combining politics and violence.

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