Fine and Decorative Art

Fine Art

When Henry Clay Frick purchased Landscape with River by Pittsburgh artist George Hetzel (1826-1889) in 1881, he began what has become one of the most famous art collections in the world. Frick’s earliest purchases and a group of his later purchases are housed at Clayton and The Frick Art Museum.

Highlights of the collection include a large and rare group of works on paper by Jean-François Millet, a group of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes formerly in the collection of J. P. Morgan and nineteenth-century European paintings, which hang in Clayton as they did when the Fricks lived there.

The Frick’s collections are the legacy of Helen Clay Frick, who inherited Clayton and its contents at her father’s death in 1919. Helen Clay Frick took her
father’s stated mission of "encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts and of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects" to heart.

She also inherited a group of paintings, furniture, carriages, bronzes, and other decorative arts that were housed at the family’s summer home, Eagle Rock in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts, which she later brought to Pittsburgh. A collector in her own right; Helen Clay Frick’s main interests were early Renaissance painting and eighteenth-century French painting and decorative art. Her purchases form the core of the collection displayed at The Frick Art Museum.

In addition to The Frick Art Museum, collections are displayed in Clayton and the Car and Carriage Museum.

The family’s carriages and automobiles provided the inspiration for the development of the Car and Carriage Museum, formerly the Frick’s carriage house and today, home to a collection of more than 20 vintage automobiles.