Frick Art Reference Library

Frick Art Reference Library
Location within New York City
Established 1920 (1920)
Location 10 East 71st Street, New York, NY 10021 (United States)
Coordinates 40°46′16″N 73°58′02″W / 40.77118°N 73.96735°W / 40.77118; -73.96735Coordinates: 40°46′16″N 73°58′02″W / 40.77118°N 73.96735°W / 40.77118; -73.96735
Type Library
Director Stephen J. Bury (Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian)
Architect John Russell Pope
Entrance to the library

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 six-story building designed by the architect John Russell Pope.[1]


Helen Clay Frick founded the Frick Art Reference Library in 1920 as a memorial to her father, Henry Clay Frick, who died in 1919.IIts first home was the bowling alley of the Frick residence, which is now The Frick Collection. In 1924, the library moved from the bowling alley to a one-story building at 6 East 71st Street, designed by the architecture firm, Carrère and Hastings. The library opened to the public in its current building on January 14, 1935.


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, from Colonial times to the present through its fellowships, symposia, and publications.


The collections held at the Frick Art Reference Library focus on art of the Western tradition from the fourth century (A.D.) to the mid twentieth century (A.D.), and chiefly include information about paintings, drawings, sculpture, prints, and illuminated manuscripts. Archival materials augment its research collections.[2] The Library holds more than 228,000 monograph and 3,300 periodical titles. The collection includes several highlights: an auction catalog collection that contains approximately 90,000 items; the Frick Art Reference Library Photoarchive which holds more than 1 million images including photographs and clippings of works of art; and the electronic resources collection which consists of more than 2,000 subscription databases and e-journals, as well as e-books.

List of Chief Librarians

There have been seven Chief Librarians (known as the Andrew W. Mellon Chief Librarian since 1992) of the Frick Art Reference Library:


  1. Gray, Christopher (October 15, 2000). "Streetscapes/The Frick Art Reference Library; A Memorial Built by a Daughter for Her Father". New York Times. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. Archival materials

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