The Frick Art Reference Library is a research institution affiliated with The Frick Collection. It is located at 10 East 71st Street (between Madison and Fifth Avenue) in New York City. The Library is housed in a thirteen-floor building designed by the architect John Russell Pope.
Helen Clay Frick founded the Frick Art Reference Library in 1920 as a memorial to her father Henry Clay Frick, who died in 1919. Its first home was the bowling alley of the Frick residence, which is now the The Frick Collection. In 1924, the Library moved from the bowling alley to a one-story building designed by the architecture firm Carrère and Hastings. The Library made its final move to its current building in 1935, opening to the public on January 14.
The Frick Art Reference Library is open to adults (18 or older) with an interest in art, including scholars, art professionals, students, and collectors. In addition, it serves the greater art and art history research community through its membership in the New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC), which also includes the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. The Library established the Center for the History of Collecting in 2007. The Center supports the study of the formation of collections of fine and decorative arts, both public and private, in the United States from Colonial times to the present through its fellowships, symposia, and publications.
The book, auction catalog, and photoarchive collections at the Frick Art Reference Library focus on art of the Western tradition from the fourth century (C.E.) to the mid twentieth century (C.E.). The Library collections chiefly include information about paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, and illuminated manuscripts. Known for its collections of auction and exhibition catalogs, the Library is a destination for provenance and collection research. Archival materials and special collections augment the research collections. The Library holds more than 285,000 monograph and 2,250 periodical titles. The auction catalog collection contains approximately 80,000 items. More than 1 million images comprise the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive, which includes photographs and clippings of works of art.
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