As the Monuments Men worked to preserve cultural treasures in combat areas abroad, The Frick Collection, along with other museums and cultural institutions in New York, directed its efforts to protecting cultural treasures on the home front.
As early as 1940, Frick staff began evaluating the safety of the collection and preparing contingency plans in the face of possible attack on New York. Construction of a new vault for works of art began in 1941, and by the spring of 1942, all of the enamels, most of the porcelains and small bronzes, and 65 paintings were placed in storage. Remaining works of art were displayed in order to keep the museum open to the public.
In 1942, George Stout, Conservator at the Fogg Museum and former Frick conservation consultant, corresponded with Frick Collection Director Frederick Mortimer Clapp about the conservation of artwork during wartime. The following year, Stout was one of the first recruits to the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives section (Monuments Men).