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Author/Artist Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series II: Correspondence 1882-1929, undated.
Description 39.4 linear feet (95 boxes).
Arrangement Arranged alphabetically. Items are nearly always filed under the name of the correspondent (last name first, in the case of personal names; corporate bodies are filed in direct order). In a handful of cases, materials are filed by subject.
Location Call Number Vol./Copy Status Information
 Frick Archives  HCFF.1.2    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 consist chiefly of incoming correspondence, including circular letters, telegrams, statements, reports, memoranda, and notes, as well as enclosures and related material. In some cases, copies of Henry Clay Frick's outgoing responses are also included. Topics discussed include business dealings, investments, art collecting, philanthropy, politics, real estate, and family matters. Notable business correspondents include members of the Carnegie, Phipps, Mellon, Morgan, and Rockefeller families, as well as executives in the coke, coal, iron, steel, railroad, and banking industries.
Letters to Frick on the subject of art collecting range from offers of paintings and other objects available for purchase, to transactional correspondence regarding the acquisition of works and administration of the collection. The bulk of Frick's correspondence concerning art can be found under the name of his principal art dealer, M. Knoedler & Co., and under Charles Carstairs, also of that firm. Other correspondents on this topic include Duveen Brothers, Roger Fry, Arthur Tooth & Son, and Alice Creelman. Additional art correspondence can be found in the Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series I: Art Files and in the Henry Clay Frick Art Collection Files in this repository.
Other letters in this series give information about Frick's philanthropic contributions, political interests and connections, real estate dealings, and private life. Frick's charitable donations included gifts to universities, museums and other cultural institutions, hospitals, churches, and civic organizations. His prominent political connections are evidenced by correspondence with Senators Boies Penrose, M.S. Quay, and Philander Chase Knox, and various U.S. Presidents, particularly Theodore Roosevelt. Topics discussed in Frick's political correspondence include campaign contributions, nominations and appointments, and the political climate of the time. Frick's correspondence concerning real estate details the acquisition, improvement, and administration of property, whether for the family's personal use, or for commercial, industrial, or rental purposes. Of note is Frick's correspondence with various architects of the period, including F.J. Osterling, Thomas Hastings, and Daniel Burnham. Papers also document aspects of Frick's private life, including hobbies and other interests, his relationships with immediate and extended family members, and the operation of his office and household.
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 founded H.C. Frick Coke Co., and formed a business partnership with Andrew Carnegie in 1882. He became chairman of Carnegie Bros. & Co. (later Carnegie Steel Co.) in 1889, and served in that capacity until his resignation from the company in 1899. Following his break with Carnegie, Frick remained engaged in business until the end of his life, serving on the boards of various banking, railroad, and insurance concerns. Frick was also active as a philanthropist, supporting such organizations as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Arts Club, the Pittsburgh Newsboys' Home, and the American Academy in Rome.
Frick married Adelaide Howard Childs in 1881, and the couple established a residence (called "Clayton") in Pittsburgh. They 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). In addition to their home in Pittsburgh, the Fricks also maintained an estate known as "Eagle Rock" in Prides Crossing, Mass., and a beaux arts mansion at One East 70th Street in New York, designed by Thomas Hastings, and decorated by Charles Allom and Elsie de Wolfe. A prominent art collector, Frick began acquiring paintings around the time of his marriage, and continued to build his collection until his death in 1919. The bulk of his collection, consisting of paintings by old masters such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Holbein, and Turner, along with furnishings and decorative objects, 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 II: Correspondence. 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.
Note Forms part of the Frick Family Papers.
Other subject Allom, Charles, 1865-1947.
LC subject Burnham, Daniel Hudson, 1846-1912.
Carnegie, Andrew, 1835-1919.
Carstairs, Charles, 1865-1928.
Other subject Creelman, Alice.
LC subject De Wolfe, Elsie, 1865-1950.
Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931.
Frick, Childs, 1883-1965.
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
Fry, Roger, 1866-1934.
Hastings, Thomas, 1860-1929.
Knox, Philander C. (Philander Chase), 1853-1921.
Osterling, F. J., 1865-1934.
Penrose, Boies, 1860-1921.
Quay, Matthew Stanley, 1833-1904.
Rockefeller, John D., Jr. (John Davison), 1874-1960.
Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919.
Arthur Tooth & Sons.
Carnegie Steel Company.
Carrère & Hastings.
Duveen Brothers.
Other subject H.C. Frick Coke Company.
LC subject M. Knoedler & Co.
Art dealers.
Art -- Private collections.
Coal mines and mining.
Industrialists -- United States.
Mansions -- New York (State) -- New York.
Presidents -- United States -- Correspondence.
Railroads -- History.
Steel industry and trade.
Genre/Form Correspondence.
WorldCat no. 608552082

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