Manuscript Collections

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Manuscript collections in The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Archives consist primarily of art research files, gallery records, photographs of artists, and artists’ correspondence and personal papers that were donated to the Frick Art Reference Library. The research files of art scholars contain correspondence, photographs, notes, and printed material and include documentation of such artists as Gilbert Stuart and Gian Paolo Panini, as well as general research on early American artists and Western European art. The records of two galleries, the American Art Association, and Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc., contain sales records, inventories, correspondence, and photographs of artwork. Artists are documented through collections of photographs and letters, photographs of artists in their studios, and papers of two artists, Charles Hawthorne and Raymond P. R. Neilson.


Below is a current list of Manuscript Collections, each with a brief description and links to the finding aid and catalog record when available.



Alfred Moir Papers, 1939–1990

Papers and research files of art historian and collector Alfred Moir (1924–2010), containing photographs, research notes, correspondence, writings, and documents relating to his personal art collection. Art collecting content emphasizes Old Master drawings, while research content focuses on Italian baroque art, particularly the work of Caravaggio and his followers.

Schaeffer Galleries Records, undated

Collection contains descriptive information and provenance for works of art that passed through the Schaeffer Galleries. Files may also include photographs of artwork, photocopies of research material, and/or bibliographic notecards. Schaeffer Galleries operated in Berlin from 1925-1939 and in New York City from 1936-2000 and specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings.

Coe Kerr Gallery Records

Records document works of art that passed through the Coe Kerr Gallery, arranged alphabetically by artist's last name, and mainly contain photographs and/or descriptions of the works of art, including provenance information. The Coe Kerr Gallery operated from 1968 to 1993 and handled a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American artists including Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent.

Manuscript Collections

Manuscript collections in The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Archives consist primarily of art research files, art collectors' files, gallery records, images of artists and artwork, artists' sketchbooks and diaries, and artists' correspondence and personal papers that were donated to the Frick Art Reference Library.

Lucy B. Mitchell Research Files on James Sanford Ellsworth, 1952–1987

Data sheets on individual portraits, photographs, correspondence, research notes, and printed materials document Mitchell's research on the life and works of American folk artist James Sanford Ellsworth (1802–1874). The collection also includes genealogical information about the sitters.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British Artists Collection, 1756–1838

Correspondence, engravings, printed material, and ephemera from eighteenth and nineteenth century British artists most likely compiled by art authority Charles Henry Hart (1847-1918). Most of the letters are written to either Joseph Nollekens (1737-1823) or to Ozias Humphry (1742-1810). Many of the correspondents were students or professors at the Royal Academy, Associates of the Royal Academy, or Royal Academicians.

Sister Mary of the Compassion (Constance Mary Rowe) Collection, 1959–circa 1970s

Holy cards and greeting cards, photographs and postcards of paintings, and clippings document the work of the artist Sister Mary of the Compassion (1908-1977), formerly known as Constance Mary Rowe, a member of the Community of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in the Blue Chapel, Union City, N.J.

Josef Albers Papers, 1933–1961

Artwork, exhibition catalogs and announcements, writings, and clippings that document the career of artist and art educator Josef Albers (1888-1976). Collection includes three original woodcut prints, as well as photographs and reproductions of works.

American Art Association Records, 1877–1924

Correspondence, approximately 1,000 photographs, notes, and printed material documenting selected auction sales conducted by the American Art Association.

Architecture Images Collection, circa 1900–1920

Photographs and reproductions of examples of American architecture, including residences, public buildings, and religious buildings collected by Royal Cortissoz. Also includes photographs of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915, and photographs of the interior of the Players Club, New York, in 1907.