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Author/Artist Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series V: Subject Files 1848-1966, undated.
Description 34.3 linear feet
Arrangement Materials are arranged in five subseries: I. General Subject Files, 1848-1966, undated; II. Unfinished Matters, 1903-1949, undated; III. Finished Matters, 1907-1921, undated; IV. Agreeements, 1884-1925, undated; and V. Bound Volumes, 1911-1920s. Files are primarily arranged by envelope number; unnumbered envelopes are arranged alphabetically by title.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  HCFF.1.5    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at
Summary Henry Clay Frick's Subject Files, 1848-1966 and undated, consist of correspondence, financial records, legal documents, notes, and printed material on a variety of topics relating to Frick's personal and business interests. Organized by Frick's own office staff, these files do not adhere to any chronological or alphabetical filing system. Instead, documents on a particular topic were gathered into an envelope, and envelopes were assigned sequential numbers. Four separate runs of numbers have been arranged in this series as the following four subseries: I: General Subject Files, II: Unfinished Matters, III: Finished Matters, and IV: Agreements. The last suberies among these papers, Subseries V: Bound Volumes, contains a handful of miscellaneous volumes used by Frick's office staff.
These files largely concern real estate transactions, loans and financial assistance to family members, friends, and business associates, and investments in railroads, utilities, mining, banking, and manufacturing. Other topics of interest include Frick's private railroad car "Westmoreland," the family's box at the Metropolitan Opera, social events hosted by the Frick family, and membership in a range of clubs, societies, and other organizations. These papers also document philanthropic endeavors and the lease of various properties.
Biographical/historical note Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was a wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist who made much of his fortune through the production of coke and steel. He formed a business partnership with Andrew Carnegie in 1882, and became chairman of Carnegie Bros. & Co. (later Carnegie Steel Co.) in 1889. He served in that capacity until his resignation from the company in 1899. For the remainder of his life, however, Frick continued to be a fixture in industrial and financial circles in America. He served as a director of United States Steel Corporation, and of various railroads, banks, insurance companies, and invested in property in and around Pittsburgh, as well as in Massachusetts, New York, and Indiana. He also served on the boards of cultural, educational, and charitable organizations, including the American Academy in Rome, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Princeton University.
Frick was married to Adelaide Howard Childs of Pittsburgh, with whom he had four children: Childs Frick (1883-1965), Martha Howard Frick (1885-1891), Helen Clay Frick (1888-1984), and Henry Clay Frick, Jr. (born 1892, died in infancy). They maintained a home in Pittsburgh (Clayton), as well as an elaborate summer residence called Eagle Rock) on Boston's North Shore, which was completed in 1906 . From 1905-1914, the family also occupied the Vanderbilt mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue in New York, before building their own residence on the site of the former Lenox Library at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street. Frick was a life-long collector of art, focusing chiefly on Old Master paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Vermeer, and Gainsborough. Upon his death in 1919, he bequeathed his New York City residence, along with the paintings, sculpture, furnishings, and decorative objects therein as a museum. The Frick Collection opened to the public in 1935.
Cite as Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series V: Subject Files. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
LC subject Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931.
Frick, Childs, 1883-1965.
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
Railroads -- History.
Steel industry and trade.
Genre/Form Deeds.
Financial records.
WorldCat no. 785430612

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