Institutional Records

The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library records consist of correspondence and memoranda, photographs, architectural records, minutes, ledgers, financial and legal documents, printed material, scrapbooks, and audio-visual materials documenting the founding and administration of the Collection and the Library.

The Frick Collection records date from 1881 to the present with the majority dating from 1931, when the transformation of the Frick residence into a public museum began. Records document lectures, symposia, and concerts held at the Collection, as well as building construction and renovation projects, exhibitions, and art acquisitions. Of particular interest are Henry Clay Frick's art collecting files, dating from 1881 to 1920.

The Frick Art Reference Library records, which begin with Helen Clay Frick's founding of the Library in 1920, document the acquisition of books, exhibition and auction catalogs, photographs and related material, as well as photograph expeditions, lectures, and staff research projects.

Below is a current list of The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library records, each with a brief description and links to the finding aid and catalog record when available. Please note that some institutional records of the Collection and Library are restricted.

The Frick Collection

9 records

Henry Clay Frick Art Collection Files, 1881–1920

Correspondence, invoices, inventories, ledgers, notes, narrative descriptions, and printed material documenting the selection, purchase, exhibition, and disposition of artworks in Mr. Frick's collection. Additional materials concerning Henry Clay Frick's art collecting can be found in the Frick Family Papers.

Print version (PDF)

Henry Clay Frick Furnishings Files, 1913–1920

Correspondence, primarily with White, Allom & Co., invoices, and lists concerning the interior decoration and furnishings of the Fricks' New York residence. Additional materials concerning furnishings in the Frick residences can be found in the Frick Family Papers.

Print version (PDF)

The Frick Collection Central Files, 1932–1936

Alphabetical subject files documenting the conversion of the New York residence of Henry Clay Frick to The Frick Collection, a public art museum, and the construction of a new Frick Art Reference Library building. The files include correspondence, internal memorandums, minutes, reports, clippings, inventories, and contracts.

Print version (PDF)

The Frick Collection Concert Records, 1936–2001

Concert programs, tickets, schedules, correspondence, memorandums, texts of the intermission talks presented by Collection staff members, and promotional materials documenting the Collection’s concert series.

The Frick Collection Construction Records, 1933–1937

Contracts, work orders, invoices, receipts, vouchers, and daily progress reports documenting the work of the subcontractors during the conversion of the Frick residence into a public gallery and the construction of the new Frick Art Reference Library building.

Print version (PDF)

The Frick Collection Lecture Records, 1935–1999

Lecture schedules, correspondence, memorandums, attendance statistics, tickets, brochures, and some text copies of the lectures documenting the program of guest and staff lecturers.

The Frick Collection Records of the Organizing Director — Frederick Mortimer Clapp, 1920–1937

Reports, correspondence, memorandums, budgets, and notes regarding the planning and details of the alterations and additions to The Frick Collection and the construction of the Frick Art Reference Library.

Print version (PDF)

The Frick Collection Symposium on the History of Art Records, 1939–1982

Programs, correspondence, invitations, press releases, opening remarks, and summaries of graduate student papers documenting the Collection’s graduate symposium program.

Print version (PDF)

The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Photographs, 1913–present

Photographs of the construction of Frick's New York residence and Frick Art Reference Library, the renovation of the residence, interior and exterior views, building details, and staff photographs. Also contains photographs of artwork and furnishings in the Collection.

Frick New York Residence Construction Album, 1913

The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Construction Photographs, 1933-1935

Frick Art Reference Library

12 records

Clotilde Brière Records, 1921–1970

Correspondence, shipment records, and receipts documenting Mme. Brière’s procurement of books, periodicals, sales catalogues, and photographs for the Library in her position as representative for the Library in France and Holland.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Artists, 1921–present

Library correspondence with American artists regarding requests for photographs of their works for the photo archives.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Book Dealers, 1920–present

Library correspondence with over 350 book dealers and publishers documenting the development of the Library's research collection. Correspondence mainly consists of book orders and search requests by the librarians and responses by book dealers concerning order fulfillment and billing information.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Dealers, 1920–present

Library correspondence with domestic and international art dealers, mainly concerning the acquisition of photographs, sales catalogues, and exhibition catalogues for the Library. Additionally, many letters document the exchange of information on the attribution, provenance, subject identification, and location of particular works of art.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Libraries, 1922–present

Library correspondence with libraries and historical societies, mainly concerning routine administrative matters. Additionally, the correspondence documents the Library's attempts to establish the Photoarchive collection through requests for photographs, provenance, and location of works of art, etc.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Museums, 1920–present

Correspondence files documenting the Library's exchange of information with museums, historical societies, art associations, and universities, mainly concerning routine administrative matters, though many also treat the attribution and provenance of works of art.

Frick Art Reference Library Central Correspondence — Photographers, 1920–present

Correspondence with photographers and photographic agencies regarding the acquisition of photographs for the Library's collection, either through the purchase of existing photographs or the photographing of works of art.

Frick Art Reference Library Diaries, 1920–1974

Two diaries and loose notes containing entries on Library events, including visitors of note, acquisitions of photographs and books, building construction, and Miss Frick's activities. Entries also document staff matters, both professional and personal.

Helen Clay Frick Records — Correspondence with Staff, 1921–1983

Correspondence of Frick Art Reference Library founder and director Helen Clay Frick with staff, primarily the head librarians, during her absences from the Library. Contains discussions of administrative and personnel matters, and summaries of the Library's daily activities and events.

Helen Clay Frick Records — Correspondence, 1921–1960

Correspondence of Frick Art Reference Library founder and director Helen Clay Frick concerning both Library and personal matters. Subjects discussed include art research, Library furnishings, acquisitions of photographs and books, and construction of the original Library building (1924–1934). Also contains personal correspondence with staff.

Helen Clay Frick Research Files on Italian Art, 1920–1933

Typed and handwritten research notes, black-and-white photographs, printed material, some correspondence, and extensive artist bibliographies produced by Helen Clay Frick in her research on Italian sculpture and painting, primarily to annotate photograph mounts in the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive.

Print version (PDF)

Helen Clay Frick Research Files on Jean-Antoine Houdon, 1930–1977

Typed and handwritten research notes, correspondence, photographs, printed material, and typescript drafts of Helen Clay Frick's articles and unpublished manuscripts regarding the life and works of sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon.

Print version (PDF)