The Frick Collection
The West Gallery of The Frick Collection
Cabinet Installation

John Russell Pope

Expanding the Residence

Reception Hall

Oval Room

East Gallery

Music Room

Construction of the Frick Art Reference Library

Garden Court

From Mansion to Museum: The Frick Collection Celebrates
Seventy-Five Years

On view from June 22 through September 5, 2010

Vernon Howe Bailey (1874–1953)
The Addition to the Frick Museum under Construction, 1934
Pen and India ink on Bristol board
The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives

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. Further, the trustees feared a lack of visual harmony between Hastings’s older structure, intended to stand as an independent edifice, and Pope’s new construction. The goal, as elucidated by the director, Frederick Mortimer Clapp, was “to produce an integral architectural impression externally — a oneness for the whole Frick property.” 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 Pope’s thirteen-story Library composed of Indiana limestone. In this recently acquired pen-and-ink sketch, the artist Vernon Howe Bailey documents the construction of the Library at 10 East 71st Street. The drawing was commissioned by The New York Sun for its daily feature, “Intimate sketches of New York City,” and appeared in the April 23, 1934, issue.

Exterior of the Frick Art Reference Library, The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives