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Author/Artist Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title Henry Clay Frick Art Collection Files, 1881-1920.
Description 3.31 linear feet (6 boxes, 5 bound volumes).
Arrangement The collection is arranged in five series: Series I: Purchases, Series II: Art Not Purchased, Series III: Exhibitions, Series IV: Printed Material, and Series V: Miscellaneous. Files are arranged chronologically within each series.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  TFC.100.10    AVAILABLE BY APPT
Access restrictions The records are open for research under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives access policy. Contact the Archives Department for further information at
Summary Correspondence, invoices, inventories, registers, handwritten notes, narrative descriptions, printed material, and some photographs document the selection, purchase, exhibition, and disposition of art works in Henry Clay Frick's collection from the years 1881 to 1919. Also includes inventories made in 1920 after Mr. Frick's death. Series I: Purchases contains the bulk of the material.
Mr. Frick's association with the art dealers M. Knoedler & Co. and Duveen Brothers is documented in correspondence with Charles Carstairs, Roland Knoedler and Joseph Duveen. Additional correspondents include Roger Fry, Carel F.L. de Wild, A. De Beruete, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Edward Brandus, Virginia P. Bacon, Abraham Bredius, and Gardiner Martin Lane. Among the topics discussed are recommendations of works to consider for purchase, price negotiations, provenance, attribution, exhibitions, and conservation work. The collection also contains letters from some of the artists whose works Mr. Frick purchased, including Jules Breton, J.C. Cazin, F.D. Millet, William A. Coffin, Joseph Lindon Smith, Edmund Tarbell, Fritz Thaulow and P. Dagnan Bouveret.
Also of note are files concerning works considered or offered, but not purchased; lists of works placed on approval at One East 70th Street; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibition of 52 of Mr. Frick's paintings in 1910; and two catalogues of Mr. Frick's collection, from 1908 and 1915. Three files include details on the interior decoration of two rooms in the Frick residence: the Fragonard Room and the boudoir of Adelaide H.C. Frick (now the Boucher Room). They contain several letters from Carrére & Hastings and Charles Allom of White, Allom & Co.
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. Also a prominent art collector, Frick began acquiring paintings in 1881, and continued to build his collection until his death in 1919. Early acquisitions, including works by local Pennsylvania artists and contemporary French painters were hung at his home in Pittsburgh. Around the turn of the century, Frick's taste shifted largely to paintings by old masters, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Bellini, Holbein, and Turner. He added to his collection by purchasing paintings, sculpture, porcelains, enamels, and furniture from the estate of fellow collector J.P. Morgan in the mid-1910s. By the end of Frick's life, the bulk of his collection was housed in his New York residence, which he bequeathed as a museum upon his death. The Frick Collection opened to the public in 1935.
Cite as Henry Clay Frick Art Collection Files. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of Helen Clay Frick, 1953-1954.
Related collections Henry Clay Frick Papers - Series I: Art Files, 1881-1921, on deposit at The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation.
Visitor Register, 1917-1931, The Frick Collection Visitors Records, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Requests for Admission to the Galleries, 1917-1927, The Frick Collection Visitors Records, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Henry Clay Frick Furnishings Files, 1913-1920, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
Other subject Allom, Charles 1865-1947.
Bacon, Virginia P.
LC subject Beruete y Moret, A. de (Aureliano), 1876-1922.
Other subject Brandus, Edward.
LC subject Bredius, Abraham, 1855-1946.
Carstairs, Charles, 1865-1928.
Other subject De Wild, Carel F.L., 1870-1922.
LC subject Duveen, Joseph Duveen, Baron, 1869-1939.
Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919 -- Art collections.
Fry, Roger, 1866-1934.
Other subject Lane, Gardiner Martin, 1859-1914.
Knoedler, Roland F., 1856-1932.
LC subject Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913 -- Art collections.
Arthur Tooth & Sons.
Duveen Brothers.
M. Knoedler & Co.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Other subject White, Allom & Co.
LC subject Art dealers.
Decorative arts -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York.
Mansions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Genre/Form Clippings, newspaper.
Estate inventories.
Financial records.
WorldCat no. 605050936

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