Frick Art Reference Library Main Reading Room

Helen Clay Frick (1888–1984) founded the Frick Art Reference Library in 1920 as a memorial to her father. By the early 1930s the Library had outgrown its building, designed by the architect Thomas Hastings and in use since 1924. The rapid expansion of the Library’s extensive collection of art books, journals, and photographs resulted in an urgent need for more space to house its holdings appropriately and provide for future growth. It was decided that additional space should be sought for a new building, and adjacent properties at 10 and 12 East 71st Street were purchased to house the thirteen-story Library composed of Indiana limestone.