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Author/Artist Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series I: Art Files, 1881-1925, undated.
Description 8.9 linear feet (14 boxes, 4 bound volumes, and one oversize folder).
Arrangement Materials are arranged in six subseries: I. Purchases, II. Inventories and Lists, III. Catalogs and Works Exhibited, IV. Correspondence V. Works Not Purchased, and VI. Sale Catalogs and Miscellanea. Files are arranged chronologically within each subseries.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  HCFF.1.1    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 Papers in this series include correspondence, catalogs, invoices, vouchers, canceled checks, inventories, lists, notes, and printed material pertaining to the selection, purchase, and disposition of works of art in Frick's collection. The bulk of these files are contained in Subseries I, Purchases, which document Frick's acquisitions from galleries such as M. Knoedler & Co., Duveen Brothers, and Arthur Tooth and Sons. Also documented are requests to visit Frick's galleries at his New York residence, summaries of his collection at various stages of its development, and the exhibition of works in the collection at several museums. A small number of items date from after Frick's death, and largely pertain to claims against the Frick Estate. Portions of these papers also concern objects that were offered to Frick for purchase, but ultimately were not acquired for his collection. Examples of correspondents represented in these papers include Charles Carstairs and Roland Knoedler of M. Knoedler & Co., Joseph Duveen of Duveen Brothers, Roger Fry, Alice Creelman, Virginia P. Bacon, Charles Henry Hart, and Carel F. de Wild, among others.
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 Papers, Series I: Art Files. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Source of acquisition Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.
Related collections Henry Clay Frick Art Collection Files, 1881-1920, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.
Finding aids Available online and in repository.
Note Forms part of the Frick Family Papers.
Other subject Bacon, Virginia P.
LC subject Carstairs, Charles, 1865-1928.
Other subject Creelman, Alice.
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.
Hart, Charles Henry, 1847-1918.
Other subject Knoedler, Roland F., 1856-1932.
LC subject Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913 -- Art collections.
Arthur Tooth & Sons.
Duveen Brothers.
M. Knoedler & Co.
Art dealers.
Decorative arts -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York.
Mansions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Genre/Form Clippings, newspaper.
Financial records.
WorldCat no. 605037830

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