Finding Aid for the Helen Clay Frick Papers, Series IV: Calendars and Diaries, 1904-1982, undated HCFF.2.4

 Part of the Frick Family Papers, on deposit from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation

Summary Information

Repository
The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives10 East 71st Street
New York, NY, 10021
archives@frick.org
  © 2014 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Creator
Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
Title
Helen Clay Frick Papers, Series IV: Calendars and Diaries
ID
HCFF.2.4
Date
1904-1982, undated
Extent
8.1 Linear feet  (17 boxes)
Abstract
Helen Clay Frick (1888-1984) was the daughter of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick. She was also a philanthropist and founder of the Frick Art Reference Library in New York. This series contains calendars, diaries, and notes documenting Miss Frick's travels and daily activities over a period spanning nearly 80 years.

Preferred Citation

Helen Clay Frick Papers, Series IV: Calendars and Diaries. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.

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Biographical Note

Helen Clay Frick (1888–1984) was the daughter of industrialist and art collector Henry Clay Frick and his wife, Adelaide Howard Childs Frick. Born at Clayton, the Frick family residence in Pittsburgh, her early education took place at home under the tutelage of Swiss governess Marika Ogiz. In 1905, Henry Clay Frick relocated his family to the Vanderbilt mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue in New York, and Helen Clay Frick enrolled at Miss Spence's School for Girls, graduating in 1908. She made her debut into society in Pittsburgh later that same year.

From an early age, Helen Clay Frick expressed an interest in art, and around 1910 she created an early two-volume catalogue of her father's collection. She traveled abroad frequently with her family and maintained detailed diaries from several of these trips, noting visits to galleries, museums, and historical sites. She was also interested in photography and kept a visual record of her travels through scrapbooks and photograph albums.

After the death of her father in 1919, Helen Clay Frick focused her attention on The Frick Collection, the museum comprised of Henry Clay Frick's New York residence and art collection which had been established by his will. Along with her mother and her brother, Childs Frick, Helen Clay Frick served as a founding trustee of the Collection and was instrumental in guiding the museum's early acquisitions. In 1920, she established the Frick Art Reference Library in New York as a memorial to her father and as a public resource for those with an interest in art history. She served as Director of the Library from its inception until shortly before her death.

In addition to her work in art and art history, Helen Clay Frick took an interest in politics, land conservation, the humane treatment of animals, and the welfare of underprivileged children. In 1909, she founded the Iron Rail Vacation Home in Wenham, Mass., which served as a retreat for girls who worked in the textile mills outside of Boston. She was also very active in war relief efforts throughout both the first and second World Wars. In 1917, near the end of World War I, she sailed to France to assist the Red Cross in the repatriation of Belgian refugees. From 1940 to 1944, she hosted seven young women from Britain as part of a program to evacuate citizens while England was under aerial bombardment.

Helen Clay Frick was a legal resident of Pittsburgh for her entire adult life, and took an active interest in that city. In 1926, she helped to found an academic department in art history at the University of Pittsburgh. In the 1960s, she provided funds for the University to construct the Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Building to house the department and its library. Subsequent disagreements with the University, however, compelled her to withdraw her support, and in 1970, she built the Frick Art Museum on the grounds at Clayton to house her personal art collection. Helen Clay Frick never married and had no children. She died at Clayton in 1984.

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Scope and Content Note

Items in this series consist of various types of diaries and calendars, including travel diaries, office and desk diaries, engagement calendars, and wall calendars kept by Helen Clay Frick and by her staff, especially by her personal secretary, Julia B. Egan. Travel diaries record transatlantic crossings, cities, museums, and houses visited, modes of travel, and local customs. Engagement calendars and office diaries document daily activities and routines, appointments, visitors, and travel. They frequently include commentary from Helen Clay Frick about her general state of health, births and deaths among her family and friends, the weather, and observations about her estate in Bedford, N.Y. Volumes of particular interest include travel diaries from the Frick family's 1905, 1909, and 1912 trips abroad, and a volume documenting Helen Clay Frick's Red Cross service in France during the First World War.

Materials in this series are arranged chronologically.

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Arrangement

Materials in this series are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

These records are open for research under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives access policy. Contact the Archives Department for further information.

Provenance

On deposit from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2001.

Processing Information

Arranged and described by Julie Ludwig, 2014.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Diaries.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Bedford (N.Y. : Town)

Personal Name(s)

  • Egan, Julia B., d. 1999
  • Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.

Subject(s)

  • Travel.
  • World War, 1914-1918--War work--Red Cross.

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Collection Inventory

1 1

Daily diary
 

Composite diary with entries for 1904 and 1905. Records school and social activities, travel, and news about family members and friends.

1904-1905

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1 2

Travel diary
 

Records the Frick family's trip to Europe in 1905, sailing from New York on 11 July, and returning on 3 October. Itinerary included locations in Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Germany.

1905

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1 3-4

Travel diaries
 

Helen Clay Frick kept two travel diaries during the family's 1909 trip abroad, which included visits to England, France, Spain, Monaco, and Italy. One volume (written in pencil) contains entries dated 16 January 1909 through 8 June 1909. In these entries, Helen Clay Frick documents the trip itself, as well as the period shortly following, including references to the June wedding of her childhood friend, Virginia Frew. The second volume (written in pen) runs concurrent to the first, and contains entries dated 26 January 1909 through 14 April 1909. It includes a log of the eastbound crossing in the front; a handful of names and foreign addresses are noted in the back. The calling card of Miss Paine, 61 West 55th Street, was inserted at the back of the book.

Entry on 14 May records a visit to J.P. Morgan’s London house and seeing Holbein's Christina, Duchess of Denmark at the National Gallery.

1909

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1 5-6

Travel diaries
 

As she did in 1909, Helen Clay Frick kept two travel diaries during the family's 1912 trip abroad. The first volume contains entries dated 10 January 1912 through 12 March 1912. The second volume contains entries from 10 January 1912 through 1 May 1912, as well as numerous postcards collected by Helen Clay Frick over the course of the trip. Locations mentioned include the Azores, Madeira, Monte Carlo, Egypt, Italy, France, and Switzerland.

Second diary housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 1.

1912

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1 7

Pocket calendar [blank]
 

1913

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1 8

Red Cross diary
 

Record of Helen Clay Frick's experiences while working with the Red Cross in the repatriation of Belgian refugees in France at the end of World War I.

Diary inserts housed in folder; diary housed separately, see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 3.

1917-1918

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1 9

Notes on Red Cross activities
 

Remembrances of Helen Clay Frick, Gertrude Hill, and Constance Roberson during their Red Cross service in France. Entries dated January-February 1918.

1918

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1 10

Friendship calendar
 

Compiled by Elizabeth Holmes for Helen Clay Frick. Consists of pages made by family members and friends for each day of the year.

Diary housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 2.

1917-1918

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1 11

Travel diary
 

Contains entries from 24 May through 17 August, with some gaps. Mentions locations in England, France, and Belgium.

Diary inserts housed in folder; diary housed in Shoebox 3.

1920

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2 1

Birthday calendar
 

Also includes wedding anniversaries, deaths, and memorials.

circa 1920's-1960's

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2 2

Desk calendars
 

1924 calendar is illustrated with photographs of Helen Clay Frick's nieces and nephew.

1923-1924

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2 3-5

Westmoreland Farm diaries
 

Composite diaries each containing five years of entries (1922-1926, 1927-1931, and 1932-1936). Entries record guests at Westmoreland Farm, activity in the gardens on the estate, weather, etc.

Diaries housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 3.

1922-1936

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2 6

Pocket diary
 

Miniature memorandum book issued by Marcus & Co. Jewelers; no entries.

1933

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2 7

Westmoreland Farm diary
 

Composite diary containing five years of entries in one volume. Entries record guests at Westmoreland Farm, activity in the gardens on the estate, weather, etc.

1937-1941

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2 8

Framed desk calendar
 

Calendar housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 3.

1940

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2 9-10

Daily diaries
 

1942-1943

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3 1-4

Daily diaries, continued
 

1944-1947

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3 5

Engagement calendar
 

Includes itinerary and postcards from a trip to the Canadian Rockies in the summer of 1954.

1947, 1954

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3 6

Daily diary
 

1948

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3 7

Engagement calendars
 

1949-1950

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4 1

Westmoreland Farm diary
 

Composite diary containing five years of entries in one volume. Entries record guests at Westmoreland Farm, activity in the gardens on the estate, weather, etc.

Diary housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 3.

1949-1951

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4 2-4

Engagement calendars
 

1951-1952

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4 5

Mixed-use diary
 

"Memoranda" section contains entry dated 7 September; entries for January and February contain notes re: painters and portrait subjects; July contains pasted-in clippings and letters re: Helen Clay Frick's opposition to modern art.

1952, 1962

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4 6

Wall calendars
 

Wall calendars housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Oversize A.

1952-1953, 1957

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4 7-11

Engagement calendars
 

1953-1957

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5 1

Engagement calendars, continued
 

1957

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5 2

Desk calendar
 

1958

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5 3

Engagement calendar
 

1958

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5 4

Pocket diary
 

1958

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5 5-6

Engagement calendars
 

1959

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5 7

Pocket diary
 

1959

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5 8

Office diary
 

Diary maintained by Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1959

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5 9-10

Engagement calendars
 

1960

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6 1-2

Engagement calendars
 

1961

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6 3

Travel diary
 

Contains entries dated 28 June-1 August. Locations mentioned include Spain, France, Belgium, and Holland.

1961?

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6 4-9

Engagement calendars
 

1962-1964

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6 10

Pocket diary
 

1964

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6 11

Office diary
 

Informal diary maintained by Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1964

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6 12

Engagement calendar
 

1965

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7 1

Engagement calendar
 

1965

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7 2

Pocket diaries
 

1965

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7 3

Office diary
 

Maintained by Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1965

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7 4

Office diary
 

Maintained by Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1965-1966

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7 5-7

Engagement calendars
 

1966

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7 8

Office diary
 

Maintained by Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1966

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8 1

Engagement calendar
 

1967

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8 2

Pocket diary
 

1967

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8 3

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Records appointments, visitors, reminders, and activities both in and out of the office.

1967

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8 4

Travel diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary. Contains entries dated 30 August-26 October. Locations mentioned include Ireland, England, France, Austria, and Italy.

1967

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8 5

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1968

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8 6-7

Engagement calendars
 

1968

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8 8

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1968-1970

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9 1

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1969

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9 2

Engagement calendar
 

1969

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9 3

Pocket diary
 

1969

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9 4

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1970

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9 5-6

Engagement calendars
 

1970-1971

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9 7

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

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10 1-4

Engagement calendar
 

1971

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10 5

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1972

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10 6

Pocket diary [blank]
 

1972

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10 7

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1973

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11 1-4

Engagement calendars
 

1973-1974

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11 5-6

Office diaries
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1974-1975

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11 7

Engagement calendar
 

1975

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11 8

Desk calendar
 

Calendar housed separately; see: Calendars/Diaries, Shoebox 3.

1975

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12 1-2

Engagement calendars
 

1976

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12 3-5

Office diaries
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1976-1978

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13 1

Office diary
 

In hand of Julia B. Egan, Helen Clay Frick's personal secretary.

1979

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13 2

Engagement calendar
 

1980-1982

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13 3

Perpetual calendar
 

undated

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