Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919
type Collector
dates 1849-1919
city New York City
stateNY
other citiesPittsburgh, PA; West Overland, PA; Mt. Pleasant, PA; Pride's Crossing, MA;
sex M
history Born in southwestern Pennsylvania, Henry Clay Frick (December 19, 1849 – December 2, 1919) was an American industrialist, financier, and art collector. A grandson of the owner of the prosperous Overholt whiskey distillery, Frick, two cousins, and a friend started a small partnership in 1870, using a beehive oven to turn coal into coke for use in steel manufacturing. Thanks to loans from the family of lifelong friend Andrew Mellon, Frick bought out the partnership. The company was renamed H. C. Frick & Company; at its peak, it became the largest producer of coke in the world, operating 12,000 coke ovens and producing 80 percent of the coal output in Pennsylvania.

In 1882, Frick joined forces with the Pittsburgh steel manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, which ensured their dominance in the industry, with Carnegie acquiring an interest in Frick & Co. and Frick obtaining an interest in Carnegie's steel company. In 1889, Henry Frick became chairman of the Carnegie Company, at the time the largest steel producer in the world. He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company.

After Frick's partnership with Andrew Carnegie began to fray, he moved from Pittsburgh to New York, where he became one of the directors of J. P. Morgan's newly incorporated United States Steel Corporation. In 1906, he purchased the site of the Lenox Library on Fifth Avenue between 70th and 71st Street. The building housed the private collection of the philanthropist James Lenox and was designed by the New York architect Richard Morris Hunt in the néo-Grec style. After all its books were transferred to the New York Public Library Main Branch in 1911, the building was demolished, and Frick immediately began construction on its successor.

The Henry Clay Frick House, a Beaux-Arts mansion enclosed by a famed elevated garden and three magnolia trees, was built in 1912–1914 by Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings. Frick had started to collect paintings seriously, especially by Old Masters, in his late forties and began to focus on his collections even more after his move to New York in 1905. Hastings designed the house to accommodate Frick's paintings and other art objects. Even the earliest plans for the residence took into account Frick's intention to leave his house and his art collection to the public.

Upon his death, Frick left his house and all of its contents, including art, furniture, and decorative objects, as a museum to the public. His family continued to live in the house until his wife, Adelaide, died in 1931. The collection opened to the public in 1935.
decades1880-1890
1890-1900
1900-1910
1910-1920
websitehttp://www.frick.org/
updated 02/07/2020 18:20:59
research links Search FRESCO (Frick Research Catalog Online)
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Repository Description Links
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Art Collecting Files of Henry Clay Frick, 1881-1925, undated. see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series I: Art Files, 1881-1925 see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series II: Correspondence 1882-1929, undated. see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Duveen Brothers Records, 1876-1981, bulk 1909-1964 see details...
University of Pittsburgh, Libraries
Archives Service Center
Papers of James Bonar, 1886-1924 see details...
New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rm 328
John Powell Lenox collection, 1887-1924 (MssCol 3448) see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
August Jaccaci papers, 1889-1935 (bulk 1904-1914). see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Oral history interview with William Milliken, 1974 Dec. 27-1976 Mar. 13. see details...
Archives of American Gardens
Capital Gallery Building, Suite 3300
Eagle Rock 1917-1986. see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Carnegie Steel Company records 1853-1912 (1869-1912) [manuscript] see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Will of Henry C. Frick, 1919 see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
James Waldo Fawcett papers 1847-1968 [manuscript] bulk 1963-1968 see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Junta records 1882-1984 [manuscript] see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
George Dilworth papers 1861-1892 [manuscript] see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Robert D. Christie papers 1889-1967 [manuscript] see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Henry C. Frick Educational Commission records 1909-1993 [manuscript] see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Mothers Organizing Mothers collection includes minutes, correspondence and membership lists also materials on Clayton, the Henry Clay Frick house. see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Catalogue of the Frick Collection (Photocopy) see details...
Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz History Center
Booklet on the Frick Building, 1905 see details...
Birmingham Public Library
Archives Department
Erskine Ramsay Papers, 1886-1953. see details...
Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Papers of Philander C. Knox, 1893-1922 (bulk 1901-1921). see details...
Library of Congress
Manuscript Division
Papers of Andrew Carnegie, 1803-1935 (bulk 1890-1919). see details...
Minnesota Historical Society
Division of Archives and Manuscripts
Materials relating to Helen C. Frick vs. Sylvester K. Stevens, 1967. see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
D.H. Burnham & Co. Records, ca. 1891-1912. see details...
University of Michigan Library
UNIV OF MICHIGAN LIBR
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109-1205
United States
Indictment, (no. 340) in the Court of Quarter Sessions, County of Allegheny, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, of September Sessions, 1892. see details...
University of Pittsburgh, Libraries
Archives Service Center
Correspondence of Charles M. Schwab, 1891. see details...
New York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Rm 328
John Powell Lenox collection, 1887-1924 (MssCol 3448) see details...
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
James Moore Swank Papers, 1785-1898 (inclusive), 1785, 1871-1898 (bulk). see details...
Nevada State Historical Society
Museum-Research Library
George Wingfield Papers, ca. 1900-1958. see details...
The New-York Historical Society
Manuscript Department
James Hazen Hyde Papers, [ca. 1891-1941]. see details...
Hagley Museum and Library
Manuscripts & Archives Dept.
Virginia Coal and Iron Company Records, 1880-1981. see details...
Hagley Museum and Library
Manuscripts & Archives Dept.
Bethlehem Steel Corporation Records, 1714-1982. see details...
Hagley Museum and Library
Manuscripts & Archives Dept.
Research notes for Conquering Gotham, 2001-2006. see details...
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
Library and Archives
Papers of William J. Collins, 1902-1958. see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series V: Subject Files, 1848-1966, undated see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series III: Voucher Files, 1892-1929. see details...
Nevada State Historical Society
Museum-Research Library
George Wingfield Papers. 1900-1958. see details...
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust Street
James Moore Swank Papers, 1785-1898 (inclusive), 1785, 1871-1898 (bulk). see details...
Birmingham Public Library
Department of Archives and Manuscripts
Erskine Ramsay Papers, 1886-1953. see details...
University of Pittsburgh, Libraries
Archives Service Center
James Bonar Papers, 1886-1924 see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
M. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971 see details...
Archives of American Art
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978 (bulk 1913-1974) see details...
Frick Art Reference Library and Brooklyn Museum
Gilded Age exhibition checklists and pamphlets digital project
An exhibition of paintings from the collection of Mr. Henry C. Frick [electronic resource]. see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
One East 70th Street Papers, 1907-1931 see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series IV: Receipts, 1900-1926 see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series VI: Accounts 1880-1942. see details...
The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library
10 East 71st Street
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series VIII: Letterpress Copybooks, 1881-1923. see details...
The Getty Research Institute
Research Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
M. Knoedler & Co. records, approximately 1848-1971 see details...
King's College Archive Centre, Cambridge

CB2 1ST
The Papers of Roger Eliot Fry, 1873–1969. see details...

see alsoFrick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984