Monday Memories

A Message from the Editor of Art News about “The Undoing”

The HBO miniseries The Undoing drew to what many reviewers on social media found to be a disappointing conclusion last night. So it’s as good a time as any to look back on the role the Frick Collection played in the series. In an early episode, the main character, Grace Fraser, played by Nicole Kidman, meets her father, Franklin Reinhardt (Donald Sutherland) at the Frick to discuss her predicament: her husband may have murdered a fellow parent at her son’s private school. They sit on one of those ornate benches in the collection’s vast West Gallery, across from a 15th-century painting of the deposition of Christ by Gerard David. The filmmakers are clever about what you see in the background, given Grace’s cheating husband and his possible crime: Paolo Veronese’s The Choice Between Virtue and Vice. But it’s one of Reinhardt’s lines that best coordinates with the Frick Collection itself: “This is bigger than you, Grace,” he says. “Hell, it’s bigger than me.” Like Frick before him, Reinhardt is a titan of some industry or other, with an enormous apartment on Fifth Avenue. And, like Frick, he ends up (this isn’t giving away too much) averting a disaster that is considerably bigger than he is: in 1912, Frick’s wife sprained her ankle, and he had to cancel their return passage from Europe—on the Titanic.
— Sarah Douglas, Editor-in-Chief


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