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Art Purchase Files, 1881-1921, undated

Consisting of invoices and financial documents, correspondence with art dealers, banks, advisers, and others, notes, and printed material, these materials document Henry Clay Frick’s art acquisitions from 1881 through his death in 1919.

 

Bill Book No. 1, 1881-1900

Contains invoices, correspondence, provenance information, telegrams, and newspaper clippings, with an index in the front of the volume. The bulk of the book concerns purchases made from 1895-1898, but also also documents acquisitions made in the 1880s. Correspondents include Jules Breton, Charles Carstairs and Roland Knoedler of M. Knoedler & Co., Jean Charles Cazin, Francis Davis Millet, Arthur Tooth, and Edmond Simon.

 

Bill Book No. 2, 1897-1916

Contains invoices, correspondence, provenance information, telegrams, and newspaper clippings, with an index in the front of the volume. This volume documents purchases and other art-related matters from 1897-1916. Correspondents include Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret, William A. Coffin, Duveen Brothers, Ehrich Galleries, Roger Fry, Charles Knoedler and Roland Knoedler of M. Knoedler and Co., Joseph Lindon Smith, Edmund Tarbell, and Fritz Thaulow.

 

Charles Carstairs - Correspondence

An art dealer with the firm M. Knoedler & Co., Charles S. Carstairs corresponded with Frick from 1897 to 1919. Their letters discuss art works (both purchased and unpurchased), the art market in general, other dealers and collectors, and more casual topics, such as family and mutual friends. Frick’s secretary, F.W. McElroy, occasionally wrote to Carstairs on Frick’s behalf.

 

M. Knoedler & Co. - Correspondence

Frick’s correspondence with M. Knoedler & Co. dates from 1895 to 1919. He purchased the majority of the art work in his collection from this firm, where his principal correspondents were Roland F. Knoedler and Charles Carstairs, although he also communicated with Charles L. Knoedler, Thomas Gerrity, C.R. Henschel, and other representatives of the firm. These letters discuss art works purchased or available for purchase, as well as loans for exhibitions, insurance and financial matters, and other topics. Frick’s secretaries, A. Braddel and F.W. McElroy, and his steward, Joseph Holroyd, occasionally wrote to M. Knoedler & Co. on Frick’s behalf.

 

Roger E. Fry - Correspondence

Frick corresponded with scholar, painter, and critic Roger E. Fry from 1906 until 1912. Fry occasionally acted as an advisor to Frick, and served as a purchase agent on works such as Rembrandt’s Polish Rider. He also tried to interest Frick in purchasing other works, including ones by Titian, Tiepolo, Holbein, Vermeer, Tintoretto, Van Dyck, and Velázquez.

 

A.E. Stanley Clarke - Correspondence

Clarke wrote to Frick in 1916 to offer several works from his family's collection, including examples by Hoppner, Romney, Reynolds, and Greuze. Frick replied to decline the offer.

 

Alice Creelman - Correspondence

Creelman began corresponding with Frick after the death of her husband, jounalist James Creelman, in 1915. That year, she arranged for Frick to purchase two works (Holbein's Thomas Cromwell and Titian's Portrait of a Man in the Red Cap) from the collection of Sir Hugh Lane. She later had a hand in Frick's acquisition of works by Whistler and Van Dyck, and offered him works by a number of other artists, including Roselius, Donatello, Fragonard, Giorgione, Rubens, Tiepolo, Whistler, Romney, Reynolds, and Vigée-Lebrun.

 

Arthur J. Sulley - Correspondence

Frick's correspondence with Sulley dates from 1914 to 1915, and concerns works by Vermeer, Van Dyck, and Hals.