The Frick Collection is an art museum located in the Henry Clay Frick House on the Upper East Side in New York City on Fifth Avenue, between 70th and 71st Street. It houses the collection of industrialist Henry Clay Frick. Henry Frick started his substantial art collection as soon as he started amassing his fortunes. A substantial amount of his art collection is located in his former residence "Clayton" in Pittsburgh, which is today a part of the Frick Art & Historical Center. Another part was given by his daughter and heiress Helen to the Frick Fine Arts Building, which is on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh.
The Frick is one of the pre-eminent small art museums in the United States, with a high-quality collection of old master paintings and fine furniture housed in six galleries within the former residential mansion. Frick had intended the mansion to eventually become a museum. Many of the paintings are still arranged according to Frick's design. Besides its permanent collection, the Frick has always organized small, focused temporary exhibitions.
The collection features some of the best-known paintings by major European artists, as well as numerous works of sculpture and porcelain. It also has 18th century French furniture, Limoges enamel, and Oriental rugs. After Frick's death, his daughter, Helen Clay Frick, expanded the collection, with a third of its artworks acquired since 1919. Although the museum cannot lend the two-thirds that belonged to Frick, as stipulated in his will, the Frick Collection does lend artworks and objects acquired since his death.
Included in the collection are Jean-Honoré Fragonard's masterpiece, The Progress of Love, three paintings by Johannes Vermeer including Mistress and Maid, and Piero della Francesca's St. John the Evangelist.
Frick Art Reference Library:
The Frick Collection oversees the nearby Frick Art Reference Library. The collections held at the library focus on art of the Western tradition from the fourth century to the mid-twentieth century, and chiefly include information about paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, and illuminated manuscripts. Archival materials augment its research collections. Opened in 1924, the library quickly became a prime resource for students.