Manuscript collections in The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Archives consist primarily of art research files, art collectors' files, gallery records, images of artists and artwork, artists' sketchbooks and diaries, and artists' correspondence and personal papers that were donated to the Frick Art Reference Library. The research files of art scholars contain correspondence, photographs, notes, and printed material and include documentation of such artists as Gilbert Stuart and Gian Paolo Panini, as well as general research on early American artists and Western European art. The records of galleries contain sales records, inventories, correspondence, and photographs of artwork. Artists are documented through collections of photographs and letters, sketchbooks and diaries, and the papers of artists Josef Albers, Charles Hawthorne, and Raymond P. R. Neilson.
Below is a current list of Manuscript Collections, each with a brief description and links to the finding aid or catalog record, and digital resources when available.
Alfred Moir Papers, 1939–1990
Papers and research files of art historian and collector Alfred Moir (1924–2010), containing photographs, research notes, correspondence, writings, and documents relating to his personal art collection. Art collecting content emphasizes Old Master drawings, while research content focuses on Italian baroque art, particularly the work of Caravaggio and his followers.
Anna Kleinman Research Files on Rosalba Carriera, undated
Typescript photocopies of the English translations of the correspondence and diary of Rosalba Carriera (1675–1757), prominent Venetian Rococo portraitist. Also includes explanatory footnotes, biographical sketches of correspondents, and microfilm of the original documents.
Anton Mauve (1838–1888) was a Dutch realist painter. His best known paintings depict peasants working in the fields and his paintings of flocks of sheep were especially popular in America. He was a leading member of the Hague school of painters and was influenced by the French painters Jean-François Millet and Camille Corot. This small sketchbook (7.5 x 4.5 in.) contains approximately forty sketches of landscapes, figures, and animals, mainly executed in charcoal.
Photographs and reproductions of examples of American architecture, including residences, public buildings, and religious buildings collected by Royal Cortissoz. Also includes photographs of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco in 1915, and photographs of the interior of the Players Club, New York, in 1907.
A collection of approximately twenty-five letters from various artists received by the Frick Art Reference Library as gifts. The artists lived mainly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The subjects discussed in the letters are both personal and professional, including some references to the artists' works. The content of the letters is noted in the finding aid when possible; some letters are in French or Italian.
Thirty-three albums containing photographs and descriptions of artwork that passed through the hands of the Bignou Gallery (New York) during the 1930s and 1940s. The artists included are mainly French from the eighteenth through the twentieth century and include such luminaries as Cézanne, Corot, Dufy, Matisse, and Renoir.
Byers Family Art Collection Inventories, 1900–1977
This collection includes a handwritten volume, circa 1900; a 1935 typed inventory; and later lists that document the art collection of A.M. Byers, a prominent art collector and iron manufacturer in the Pittsburgh area, and his family.
The album catalogs the contents of the art collection of George Jay Gould, the railroad executive. Included are photographs and accompanying typed information for thirty-seven paintings. The artists represented are from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century and are mainly French; two works are by Dutch artists.
Research notes of Charles K. Bolton (Boston Athenaeum librarian and author) for his unpublished manuscript, Workers with Line and Color in New England 1620–1870: Biographical Notices of Artists and Art Craftsmen Born before 1845.
Collection consists of three handwritten volumes that document painting sales of the Christie's London auction house from 1910 to 1945. The sales index is organized alphabetically by artist's name, with sale dates listed chronologically beneath the artist. Sales information includes title of work, size (in centimeters), date of sale, lot number, owner, buyer, and price paid (in British pounds). Buyers and sellers include institutions, art dealers, and individuals.
Small sketchbook (approximately 9 x 6 in.) contains about twenty-five pencil drawings, mainly of houses, sailboats, and lighthouses in Indiana and Massachusetts. The drawings were executed by William E. Clarke, a well-known organist in Massachusetts, and his brother, Lynn Winthrop Clarke (1877–1932), a judge, when they were young.
Records document works of art that passed through the Coe Kerr Gallery, arranged alphabetically by artist's last name, and mainly contain photographs and/or descriptions of the works of art, including provenance information. The Coe Kerr Gallery operated from 1968 to 1993 and handled a variety of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American artists including Andrew Wyeth, Mary Cassatt, and John Singer Sargent.
College Art Association of America Records, 1919–1938
Documents the research conducted by the College Art Association of America for their publication The Index of Twentieth-Century Artists, through correspondence, exhibition catalogues, press releases, and news clippings. Other material was gathered by the staff of Parnassus, another College Art Association publication.
Two inventories completed in 1880 and 1881 listing the contents of Downham Hall, an estate that was located in Suffolk, England. The first, "An Inventory of the Household Furniture, Books, Pictures, and Effects at Downham Hall," details the contents of fifty rooms and spaces within the house as well as outbuildings and gardens. The second, "List of Furniture at Downham Hall belonging to Edward Philippe Mackenzie," details Edward Philippe Mackenzie's furniture, rugs, pictures, linens, and other furnishings found in eighteen rooms.
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British Artists Collection, 1756–1838
Correspondence, engravings, printed material, and ephemera from eighteenth and nineteenth century British artists most likely compiled by art authority Charles Henry Hart (1847–1918). Most of the letters are written to either Joseph Nollekens (1737–1823) or to Ozias Humphry (1742–1810). Many of the correspondents were students or professors at the Royal Academy, Associates of the Royal Academy, or Royal Academicians.
Correspondence of the descendants of Gustave Hesselius, including his granddaughter, Elizabeth Henderson Wertmuller, her mother, Lydia Hesselius Henderson, and her aunt Mary Hesselius, as well as other relatives, concerning personal and business matters.
John Appleton Brown (1844–1902) was an American Impressionist painter. These two small sketchbooks include approximately thirty pencil drawings of lake and mountain landscapes and structures in the Swiss Alps, and approximately thrity-five pencil sketches of landscapes, figures, and botanical specimens.
Correspondence, photographs, notes, printed material, and some drafts of John Hill Morgan’s writings on George Washington portraits and other early American paintings. Also contains information on the George J. Shepard/John J. Hughes/Ferdinand Danton fakes.
Artwork, exhibition catalogues and announcements, writings, and clippings that document the career of artist and art educator Josef Albers (1888–1976). Collection includes three original woodcut prints, as well as photographs and reproductions of works.
Juliette Tomlinson Research Files on Joseph Whiting Stock, 1976–1987
Correspondence and research of Juliette Tomlinson on the American folk artist Joseph Whiting Stock (1815–1855). The collection contains Tomlinson’s correspondence regarding paintings by Stock, photocopies of Stock’s personal documents and other biographical material, and some images.
Lucy B. Mitchell Research Files on James Sanford Ellsworth, 1952–1987
Data sheets on individual portraits, photographs, correspondence, research notes, and printed materials document Mitchell's research on the life and works of American folk artist James Sanford Ellsworth (1802–1874). The collection also includes genealogical information about the sitters.
Peter H. Davidson & Co., Inc. Weir Records, 1957–1991
Correspondence, photographs, provenance records, invoices, inventories, and printed material pertaining to Davidson's association with the descendants of painter J. Alden Weir. Also concerns the creation of the Weir Foundation and the effort to designate Weir Farm, the home of J. Alden Weir, a national park.
Photographs of Artists in Their Studios, circa 1885–1890
Seventy-four photographs of artists in their studios from the collection of artist Frank Stokes, including Léon Durand Bonnat, Henri-Joseph Harpignies, Anna Elizabeth Klumpke, Jean-Paul Laurens, and Madeleine Jeanne Lemaire.
Diaries, notebooks, and other notes regarding the work of New York City portraitist, still-life painter, and art instructor Raymond P. R. Neilson. The collection also includes some correspondence regarding portrait commissions.
Detailed 380-page manuscript inventory of the 18 rooms comprising Valadier's workshop in Rome in 1810. The inventory includes tools and utensils of various trades, particularly silversmiths, founders, gilders, bronze workers, ébénistes, and hardstone gem engravers. Also lists raw materials, models, drawings, and completed works found in the workshop. Contents are arranged by room.
Research files of art historian Richard P. Wunder, containing artwork files, photographs, correspondence, writings, and notes. His research on Gian Paolo Panini forms the bulk of the collection, though Hyacinthe Rigaud, Emmanuel Leutze, and architectural and theater drawings are also featured in his research.
Collection contains descriptive information and provenance for works of art that passed through the Schaeffer Galleries. Files may also include photographs of artwork, photocopies of research material, and/or bibliographic notecards. Schaeffer Galleries operated in Berlin from 1925-1939 and in New York City from 1936-2000 and specialized in Old Master paintings and drawings.
Sister Mary of the Compassion (Constance Mary Rowe) Collection, 1959–circa 1970s
Holy cards and greeting cards, photographs and postcards of paintings, and clippings document the work of the artist Sister Mary of the Compassion (1908–77), formerly known as Constance Mary Rowe, a member of the Community of the Dominican Nuns of the Perpetual Rosary in the Blue Chapel, Union City, N.J.
Collection of materials related to Stanford White (1853–1906), American architect, art collector and dealer, and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White. The collection includes a 1942 typescript inventory of works of art at Box Hill, the former Stanford White estate in Long Island, as well as a scrapbook on works of art collected by Stanford White, including paintings, sculpture, rugs, tapestries, and other decorative arts. The scrapbook was compiled by Lawrence Grant White, son of Stanford White, and contains photographs and reproductions of works of art, clippings and excerpts from sales catalogs, and photographs of interiors, with many pages annotated by Lawrence Grant White.
Notecards created by the Frick Art Reference Library staff from material compiled by Theodore Bolton (art historian, artist, and librarian) for intended dictionary of early American oil painters. Cards contain biographical information on artists and descriptions of individual portraits.
Manuscript written in Thomas Sully's hand in a notebook with lined paper, titled "Incidents in the life of Thomas Sully; chiefly of painting." Sully, who wrote the account when he was 88 years old, describes his technique, imparts formulas, relates his experiences, and refers to British and American artists of the period such as Gilbert Stuart, Rembrandt Peale, John Singleton Copley, and Benjamin West. Two original ink sketches for Sully's portraits of John Quincy Adams, 1823, and General Lafayette, 1826, accompany the manuscript.
Walter Gay (1856–1937) was an American artist known for his paintings of interiors. For the better part of his life, Gay lived in France, where he met and married heiress and fellow expatriate Matilda E. Travers (1855–1943). The bulk of this collection is formed by Matilda Gay's diaries, which provide detailed insight into the Gays' daily life as well as American expatriate life in France before, during, and after World War I. The collection also contains correspondence, photographs (including an album of photographs of Walter Gay's early paintings), material relating to the death of Walter Gay, and various artifacts and printed material.
Two ledgers recording William Suhr’s conservation work for The Frick Collection and other prominent museums, collectors, and dealers from 1938 to 1957. Each entry consists of the date work was begun, the owner’s name, the artist and title of the work, conservation treatment performed, the amount charged, and the date completed.