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Author/Artist Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
Title Helen Clay Frick Papers, Series I: Youth and Education, 1865 - 1924.
Description 3.5 linear feet (7 boxes)
Arrangement Arranged alphabetically by genre and/or subject.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  HCFF.2.1    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 This series, the bulk of which dates from 1897 to 1908, consists of compositions, grade books, notebooks, scrapbooks, printed material, and ephemera, including paper dolls and a Parisian board game. These materials document the type and quality of Helen Clay Frick's academic training, her youthful interests and recreational pursuits, and give some insight into her religious and physical education. They detail Helen Clay Frick's studies in foreign languages, music, mathematics, history, literature, ethics, and other subjects, and give a sense of her relationship with her parents and her Swiss governess, Marika Ogiz. The bulk of the series consists of notebooks on school-related topics, and date from Helen Clay Frick's studies in both Pittsburgh and New York. Grade books also provide a weekly overview Helen Clay Frick's performance, conduct, and attendance. Later grade reports issued by the Spence School are collected into a single bound volume. This series also contains a scrapbook commemorating Helen Clay Frick's graduation from the Spence School. Post-graduation materials include documents and memorabilia from Helen Clay Frick's 1908 Pittsburgh debut. Among these are a dance card, guest lists, and a scrapbook with images, clippings, and notes. The scrapbook also contains a few scattered items from the year following Miss Frick's debut, notably clippings about the Iron Rail Vacation Home, her first philanthropic endeavor, located in Wenham, Mass., and notices regarding the engagement and wedding of a childhood friend.
Biographical/historical note The daughter of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick, Helen Clay Frick (1888-1984) spent her early years in Pittsburgh, where she was educated by Swiss governess Marika Ogiz. From 1905 to 1908, Helen Clay Frick attended Miss Spence's School in New York. She graduated in 1908, and made her debut in Pittsburgh in December of that year. As an adult, Helen Clay Frick's principal interests focused on philanthropy and the study of art history. In 1909, she founded the Iron Rail Vacation Home in Wenham, Mass., as a retreat for young girls who worked in the textile mills around Boston. She founded the Frick Art Reference Library in New York in 1920, and served as a trustee of The Frick Collection until her resignation in 1961. Helen Clay Frick was instrumental in the establishment of the art history department at the University of Pittsburgh, and in the 1960s, she provided funds to construct the Frick Fine Arts Building in honor of her father. Subsequent disagreements with the University, however, compelled her to withdraw her support, and in 1970, she built the Frick Art Museum near her childhood home to house her personal art collection. Helen Clay Frick died in Pittsburgh in 1984.
Cite as Helen Clay Frick Papers, Series I: Youth and Education. 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 respository.
LC subject Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931.
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984 -- Childhood and youth.
Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Other subject Ogiz, Marika, d. 1952.
LC subject Spence School.
Debutantes -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
Genre/Form Notebooks.
WorldCat no. 787879962

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