You can help The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library Archives make historical documents more searchable and accessible by transcribing digitized materials. The Art Collecting Files of Henry Clay Frick were recently digitized and are now available online thanks to a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. To enhance the research value of this collection, we need your help in transcribing these items. You are welcome to transcribe as a guest, or create an account if you wish to keep track of your work. Have questions? You’ll find tips for transcription on this site, or you can contact us directly.

Current Collections

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.

Art Not Purchased, 1897-1919

These materials document works of art that were offered, considered, or pursued, but ultimately not purchased by Frick, and include works by Holbein, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Houdon, Memling, and Titian. Frick’s reasons for rejecting a work are not always given. Occasionally it is due to the high cost of the work being offered, but may also relate to questions of authenticity, or a lack of willingness on the part of the owner to sell.

Duveen Brothers, 1906-1921

Frick’s correspondence with Duveen Brothers dates from 1906-1919; additional correspondence dated 1920-1921 concerns payments to Duveen by Frick’s estate. Frick purchased Renaissance bronzes, Chinese porcelains, Limoges enamels, and furniture from the J.P. Morgan estate through Joseph Duveen, as well as the series of panels by Fragonard entitled The Progress of Love. He also acquired rugs, porcelains, and other objects for the Frick family's Massachusetts summer home from Duveen. Correspondence concerns art works purchased and offered, and includes invoices.


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.

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.


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.