Frick Collection Publishes Its First Book Focused on the History of Mansion Result of New Archival Research by Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey, Building The Frick Collection

cover of book, Building The Frick Collection, depicting grand staircase

The history of Henry Clay Frick’s New York City residence is part architectural study, part family biography, and part institutional record. This November, and for the first time in its history, The Frick Collection publishes a book focused on the famed Fifth Avenue mansion that today serves as the museum’s remarkable setting, a topic of longstanding interest to the general public, visitors to the museum, and scholars alike. Building The Frick Collection: An Introduction to the House and Its Collections was written by Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey and published in association with Scala. Bailey, who joined the staff of the renowned museum in 2000, is the author of several books, including Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris, which was awarded the Mitchell Prize for the best art history book of 2002–3. In Building The Frick Collection, Bailey not only carefully documents the construction of the Gilded Age mansion that today houses the museum but examines how its creation influenced Frick’s taste during the final years of his life. Bailey’s work draws from several biographies of Frick as well as from recent studies of domestic architecture and interior decoration during the Gilded Age, setting the house’s construction—Frick’s last great achievement—in context. He uses newly discovered letters and telegrams to reveal the extent of Frick’s passionate and demanding involvement in the project, as well as the roles played by the various dealers, architects, decorators, and fellow collectors who advised him. The book (128 pages, 100 color illustrations; ISBN: 1857593812) will be available in softcover ($14.95) and hardcover ($24.95) in the Museum Shop of the Frick, on the institution’s Web site (, and by phone (212) 288-0700. The hardcover edition is available to the trade through Scala Publishers.


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