The Frick Collection opened its doors to the public in 1935, thereby fulfilling the intention of Henry Clay Frick (1849–1919) to present to New York City his extraordinary art collection and magnificent mansion. The museum’s opening was accompanied by national headlines, and present at the inaugural celebration were luminaries of the social and political worlds. Invited were Colonel and Mrs. Charles Lindbergh as well as members of the Astor, Bache, Carnegie, Mellon, Rockefeller, Straus, Sulzberger, Vanderbilt, and Warburg families. Critics spoke of it as a great “legacy of beauty” and one where the quality of its collection was “unsurpassed anywhere.”
That same year, the Frick Art Reference Library (founded in 1920 by Frick’s daughter, Helen) was greatly expanded and moved into a new building on the same lot as the original Frick mansion. Thus, 2010 was a significant milestone for the entire institution, and, to mark the occasion, the Frick presented a number of programs and new offerings.