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Frick Family Albums and Scrapbooks

Identifier: HCFF.06

Scope and Content Note

The Frick Family Albums and Scrapbooks date from the 1880s to the 1970s, and include formal studio portraits, candid snapshots, souvenir photographs, and published images visually documenting members of the Frick family and their social circle. These images give information about the family's modes of dress, residences, hobbies and pastimes, pets, and travel throughout Europe and the United States, as well as Egypt, Mexico, and Cuba. Photographers of note include B.L.H. Dabbs, Napoleon Sarony, and F. Roseti, among many others.

The bulk of these images depict Henry Clay Frick and his wife Adelaide H.C. Frick, along with their children, Childs Frick, Helen Clay Frick, Martha Howard Frick, and Henry Clay Frick Jr. Extended family members represented in this series include Mr. and Mrs. Frick's parents, siblings, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins. Members of the Childs, Overholt, Blanchard, Burden, and Symington families are among the extended family members documented here. Albums also include a wide range of friends and acquaintances of the Frick family, such as P.C. Knox, George Harvey, and John Brashear, as well as members of the Carnegie, Frew, and Holmes families.


  • 1882-1990


Access Restrictions

These records are open for research by appointment under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Access Policy. For all inquiries or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Archives Department at

Biographical Note

Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was a wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist who made much of his fortune in the coke and steel industries. He founded H.C. Frick Coke Co., and formed a business partnership with Andrew Carnegie in 1882. He became chairman of Carnegie Bros. & Co. (later Carnegie Steel Co.) in 1889, and served in that capacity until his resignation from the company in 1899. Following his break with Carnegie, Frick remained engaged in business until the end of his life, serving on the boards of various banking, railroad, and insurance concerns. Frick was also active as a philanthropist, contributing to educational and cultural institutions, hospitals, churches, and civic organizations.

Frick married Adelaide Howard Childs in 1881, and the couple established a home in Pittsburgh, called Clayton. They had four children: Childs Frick (1883-1965), Martha Howard Frick (1885-1891), Helen Clay Frick (1888-1984), and Henry Clay Frick, Jr. (born 1892, died in infancy). In addition to their residence in Pittsburgh, the Fricks also maintained a summer home called Eagle Rock in Prides Crossing, Mass., and a mansion at One East 70th Street in New York, designed by Thomas Hastings. A prominent art collector, Frick began acquiring paintings around the time of his marriage, and continued to build his collection until his death in 1919. The bulk of his collection, consisting of paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Holbein, and Turner, along with furnishings and decorative objects, was housed in his New York residence, which he bequeathed as a museum upon his death. The Frick Collection opened to the public in 1935.

Of the four children born to Henry Clay Frick and his wife, only Childs and Helen Clay survived to adulthood. Childs Frick graduated from Princeton University in 1905 and later became a noted paleontologist. Over the years, he led or sponsored a number of scientific expeditions around the world and donated specimens to both the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1913, he married Frances Shoemaker Dixon of Baltimore, and they had four children: Adelaide Frick Blanchard (1915-1956), Frances Frick Burden (1916-1971), Martha Frick Symington (1917-1996), and Henry Clay Frick II (1919-2007). Childs Frick and his family lived at Clayton, an estate located in Roslyn, N.Y., which was a gift to Childs and his wife from Henry Clay Frick. Childs Frick died at Clayton in 1965, and the former house is now the Nassau County Museum of Art.

Helen Clay Frick neither married nor had any children. After her father's death, she established the Frick Art Reference Library in New York as a resource for the study of art and art history. She also founded the Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Department at the University of Pittsburgh, the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh (now part of the Frick Art & Historical Center), and was an active supportor of political and humanitarian causes, as well as land conservation. She owned a large estate, called Westmoreland Farm, in Bedford, N.Y., in addition to homes in Pittsburgh and Massachusetts that she inherited from her parents. Helen Clay Frick died at the Frick family residence in Pittsburgh in 1984.


24.0 Linear feet

Language of Materials



Gift of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2015.

Related Materials

Many images found in these albums also exist as either prints or negatives in the Frick Family Photographs

Frick Family Albums and Scrapbooks
Part of the Frick Family Papers
Finding aid prepared by Julie A. Ludwig
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives Repository

10 East 71st Street
New York NY 10021 United States