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.



Artists' Correspondence, 1596–1925

A collection of approximately twenty-five letters from various artists received by the Frick Art Reference Library as gifts. The artists lived mainly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The subjects discussed in the letters are both personal and professional, including some references to the artists' works. The content of the letter is noted in the finding aid when possible; some letters are in French or Italian.

Bignou Gallery Albums, circa 1930s–1940s

Thirty-three albums containing photographs and descriptions of artwork that passed through the hands of the Bignou Gallery (New York) during the 1930s and 1940s. The artists included are mainly French from the eighteenth through the twentieth century and include such luminaries as Cézanne, Corot, Dufy, Matisse, and Renoir.

Charles K. Bolton Card Files, 1939

Research notes of Charles K. Bolton (Boston Athenaeum Librarian and author) for his unpublished manuscript, Workers with Line and Color in New England 1620-1870: Biographical Notices of Artists and Art Craftsmen Born before 1845.

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.




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