purdy's blog

One Hundred Years at the Library: Monuments Men and Women

Stephen J. Bury, Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian, explores one of the most fascinating eras in the Frick Art Reference Library’s hundred-year history. A photograph from the 1940s sheds light on the creation of maps at the library during World War II, which were made to prevent the destruction of at-risk cultural sites and works of art in war areas.

The First Handbook: "Paintings in the Collection of Henry Clay Frick"

In celebration of The Frick Collection’s opening to the public eighty-seven years ago, Archivist Julie Ludwig explores her research into a handbook of Henry Clay Frick’s painting collection from 1916. The handbook was distributed among Frick’s friends, associates, and visitors to his galleries, and today it gives us valuable insight into the arrangement of works of art at 1 East 70th Street while it was still a private residence.

One Hundred Years at the Library: Surrealism in Print

As we continue celebrating the centennial of the Frick Art Reference Library, Stephen J. Bury, Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian, explores an unexpected strength of the library’s collections: materials on modern art. In this post, Stephen discusses a sample of the library’s exhibition catalogs from the Surrealist movement, which began in Paris in 1924, the same year the Frick Art Reference Library opened its first dedicated building.

Reading List: New Perspectives on Vermeer

In celebration of Johannes Vermeer’s 390th birthday this month, explore a recommended reading list from the Frick Art Reference Library on the artist’s life and work by Eugénie Fortier, Acting Storage and Retrieval Lead. All the resources on this list were published within the last two decades, speaking to the Dutch artist’s continuing legacy nearly four hundred years later.

Middle Ground: Reynolds and Chinard, Capturing Fleeting Glory

The power of portraiture is particularly potent on the fourth floor of Frick Madison. Considering two seemingly unrelated likenesses on view—Reynolds’s General John Burgoyne and Chinard’s Étienne Vincent de Margnolas—Rebecca Leonard, Curatorial Assistant, examines the works’ uneasy balance between glory and tragedy, epitomizing portraiture’s poignant reflection of the human condition.