The Conservation Department is responsible for the conservation, treatment, and technical study of the objects in the collection, as well as preservation issues for both the collection and the historic interiors of the Frick mansion.
Gilbert Stuart was the foremost portrait painter of the newly formed United States. He painted many of the most prominent figures of his day, including the first five American presidents, but none of the thousand portraits he made attained such renown as the three he painted from life of George Washington and those he replicated to order throughout his later career. To most visitors to The Frick Collection, Stuart's George Washington is instantly recognizable; in a collection of mainly European masterpieces, it is the only painting of an American by an American.
In summer 2001, visitors enjoyed two eighteenth-century tapestries woven by the Brussels workshop of Peter van den Hecke (c. 1752). On display in the Music Room, these rare hangings are important for their state of preservation, the significance of their design, their royal provenance, and the evidence regarding the identity of their maker and manufacture. They depict scenes from Cervantes' novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, which proved to be an important literary source in the fields of fine and decorative arts for over two hundred years.