Manuscript Collections

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.



Theodore Bolton Card Files, 1922–1925

Notecards created by the Frick Art Reference Library staff from material compiled by Theodore Bolton (art historian, artist, and librarian) for intended dictionary of early American oil painters. Cards contain biographical information on artists and descriptions of individual portraits.

Byers Family Art Collection Inventories, 1900–1977

This collection includes a handwritten volume, circa 1900; a 1935 typed inventory; and later lists that document the art collection of A.M. Byers, a prominent art collector and iron manufacturer in the Pittsburgh area, and his family.

College Art Association of America Records, 1919–1938

Documents the research conducted by the College Art Association of America for their publication The Index of Twentieth-Century Artists, through correspondence, exhibition catalogs, press releases, and news clippings. Other material was gathered by the staff of Parnassus, another College Art Association publication.

Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Records, 1951–1991

Artist files, stock books, subject files, photographs, and correspondence documenting the activities of Davidson’s New York art gallery in the 1970s and 1980s.

Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Weir Records, 1957–1991

Correspondence, photographs, provenance records, invoices, inventories, and printed material pertaining to Davidson's association with the descendants of painter J. Alden Weir. Also concerns the creation of the Weir Foundation and the effort to designate Weir Farm, the home of J. Alden Weir, a national park.

Catalog of the George Jay Gould Collection, 1945

The album catalogs the contents of the art collection of George Jay Gould, the railroad executive. Included are photographs and accompanying typed information for thirty-seven paintings. The artists represented are from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century and are mainly French; two works are by Dutch artists.

Charles W. Hawthorne Papers, 1904–1947

Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and research material regarding the work of Charles W. Hawthorne, American painter and founder of the Cape Cod School of Art.

Hesselius Family Papers, 1780–1822

Correspondence of the descendants of Gustave Hesselius, including his granddaughter, Elizabeth Henderson Wertmuller, her mother, Lydia Hesselius Henderson, and her aunt Mary Hesselius, as well as other relatives, concerning personal and business matters.

Images of Artists, circa 1800s–1900s

Collection of images of nearly two hundred artists, including Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Jacob Maris, Edvard Munch, and Auguste Rodin.

Anna Kleinman Research Files on Rosalba Carriera, undated

Typescript photocopies of the English translations of the correspondence and diary of Rosalba Carriera (1675–1757), prominent Venetian Rococo portraitist. Also includes explanatory footnotes, biographical sketches of correspondents, and microfilm of the original documents.