Mapping the Frick Photograph Campaigns, 1922–1967

Between 1922 and 1967, Helen Clay Frick organized dozens of photograph expeditions to record significant and rarely reproduced paintings and sculpture in private collections and small public collections throughout the United States. On these “field trips,” hired photographers and Library staff toured the country and visited private homes as well as municipal buildings, libraries, and universities to photograph works of art and obtain crucial information from the owners regarding attribution and provenance and, in the case of portraits, the identity of the sitters. To enhance the discoverability of this remarkable research collection, which documents thousands of works of art that remain unpublished to this day, the Library collaborated with the Center for Advanced Research of Spatial Information at Hunter College, the City University of New York, to develop the interactive digital map featured below. This digital tool traces the movement of Library staff and photographers as they traveled across the country and preserved North America’s rich artistic legacy.

Thanks to the efforts of several interns, especially Eileen Ogle, Liliana Morales, Ava Katz, and Paul Bendernagel, who developed this digital map, the Photoarchive has mapped fourteen of these tours; staff hopes to include all known expeditions in the future.