The Henry Clay Frick Houses

This stunning book - the behind-the-scenes story of the Henry Clay Frick houses - is illustrated with over 300 vintage photographs, most of which have never been seen before. In addition, original working drawings, artist’s sketches, and designer’s notes reveal the creative process in the building and renovation of these houses. Photos are accompanied by extensive captions describing the rooms, artwork, and furniture in exacting detail. This uniquely designed volume will appeal to lovers of fine art, American history, interior design, and architecture. In its tales of the magnificent houses in which the Henry Clay Frick family lived, this book offers a richly illustrated and deeply honed story.

After decades of research, Martha Frick Symington Sanger published a masterly biography of her great-grandfather: Henry Clay Frick: An Intimate Portrait. Continuing her study of the Frick family, she now presents an overview of the Henry Clay Frick houses in Pittsburgh; Prides Crossing, Massachusetts; New York City; and Roslyn, New York. It is a subject she is uniquely qualified to discuss. As a child she was permitted to explore the renowned Frick Collection in New York when it was closed to the public, and she freely romped through the other houses and their grounds, which to her at the time represented “places to frolic and dream.” This publication is a highly informative, copiously illustrated study of the developments in domestic architecture and household furnishings during America’s Gilded Age as reflected in the residences of one of the most dynamic and imposing families of the era.

— William R. Johnston, Associate Director and Curator of Eighteenth-
and Nineteenth-century Art, The Walters Art Museum

While reading The Henry Clay Frick Houses, a door opened onto the fascinating world of the turn-of-the-century robber baron excesses. Over three decades, Henry Clay Frick pursued his obsessive interest in the burgeoning feeling for the development of American Renaissance art and architecture. At the same time he was building and adding to his private art collection, finally left to the American public as one of the world’s favorite museums. Ms. Sanger’s research is impeccable and awe inspiring. As these great houses were conceived — Clayton in Pittsburgh; Eagle Rock in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts; One East Seventieth Street in Manhattan — it intrigues me, as a decorator, to be granted a privileged glimpse into the dealings between Mr. Frick and those “wizards” of early twentieth-century decoration, Elsie de Wolfe and Sir Charles Allom.

— Keith Irvine, President, Irvine & Fleming

With splendid photographs and a wealth of fascinating detail, this wonderful book vividly brings back to life two generations of the Frick family and their opulent houses. In the high Victorian Clayton in Pittsburgh, in Georgian Revival country houses on Long Island and the North Shore of Boston, and in the magnificent Beaux Arts masterpiece in New York City — today the much loved Frick Collection — Henry Clay Frick and his family lived with unrivaled style and refinement.

— William Rieder, Curator, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts,
The Metropolitan Museum of Art