As an intern at the Frick Art Reference Library, one of my projects was to read Matilda Gay’s diaries which form part of the Walter and Matilda Gay Collection in The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives. While the diaries have been previously excerpted in publications (e.g.
I have always admired my grandmother’s handwriting. It appeals to my inner Luddite who periodically gets the urge to leave the city and head to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. To me, the tight lettering and flourishing loops of her “f”s and “g”s are time stamps of an older era that say “I was here.” It is from her that I trace my interest in palaeography and in Classics, of which italic script represents an ideal nexus.
On November 17, 1914, Henry Clay Frick and his wife Adelaide moved into their newly constructed residence at 1 East 70th Street in New York, now the home of The Frick Collection.
On August 22, 1908, French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson was born. 2014 marks the tenth anniversary of his death. Cartier-Bresson was and still is widely known as a photojournalist and for his street photography.
The Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive recently received a $25,000 grant from the Kress Foundation to support the creation of a toolkit that will perform computer vision analysis on digitized art historical photo archives. John Resig, Dean of Computer Science at Khan Academy, will carry out the project. This toolkit will be a groundbreaking application of technology that will transform the way photo archives are used.
In his introductory speech at the first joint Frick Collection and Institute of Fine Arts (IFA) Symposium on February 23, 1940, Frederick Mortimer Clapp, Director of The Frick Collection, stated that the purpose of the gathering was for graduate students “to do now what you will in a few years…to enlighten us, the older generation…on the results of your preliminary studies” (Clapp, 2
During World War II, the Frick Art Reference Library played a pivotal role in the international effort to identify and protect monuments and works of art in Europe from damage and destruction by armed forces. Helen Clay Frick, the founder and Director of the Library, invited the Committee of the American Council of Learned Societies on Protection of Cultural Treasures in War Areas to take up residence at the Library from 1943 to 1945.
As a summer intern at the Frick Art Reference Library, I researched several New York auction catalogs in preparation for the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) online exhibition Gilding the Gilded Age: Interior Decoration Tastes & Trends in New York City. I found myself drawn to the catalogs with annotations of prices and buyers. This prompted me to reflect on society’s fascination with the money others pay for their belongings.
While conducting research as an intern at the Frick Art Reference Library, I was reminded that the New York auction house often acts as a stage for dramatic, headline-generating sales. On the evening of April 21, 1915, Gilded Age magnates and their art advisors assembled at the Plaza Hotel for just such a sale (American Art Association). On the block was the masterpiece-studded Blakeslee Collection, available nearly in its entirety to the public as a result of the scandalous suicide of the collector and salesman, Theron J. Blakeslee.