Henry Clay Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes in the Golden Era

Overview

Henry Clay Frick, the world-famous art collector and steel tycoon, was a towering figure in America's "gilded age" of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The houses he built for himself and his family exemplify the great residences of the era, with priceless art, cultivated gardens, and interiors by the most prestigious designers of the day. This elegant volume, written by Frick's great-granddaughter and biographer, features the four major houses purchased, built, and renovated for the steel magnate; ...

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Overview

Henry Clay Frick, the world-famous art collector and steel tycoon, was a towering figure in America's "gilded age" of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The houses he built for himself and his family exemplify the great residences of the era, with priceless art, cultivated gardens, and interiors by the most prestigious designers of the day. This elegant volume, written by Frick's great-granddaughter and biographer, features the four major houses purchased, built, and renovated for the steel magnate; each is described in exacting detail, with information about the architects and interior designers, furnishings and art, and decoration. Beautiful archival photographs—interior and exterior, many previously unseen—and architectural drawings document the residences.

The late-Victorian Clayton, in Pittsburgh, was Henry Clay Frick's first home as a married man and the chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company; it now houses the Frick Art and Historical Center. Eagle Rock, the Fricks' summer retreat to the north of Boston, was a neoclassical, all-brick colossus designed by Arthur Little and Herbert W. C. Browne. The most famous house in the book is 1 East Seventieth Street, along New York's Fifth Avenue. Long recognized as one of the city's most elegant buildings and today housing the world-renowned Frick Collection, it was designed in 1912 by Thomas Hastings of Carrère & Hastings. The fourth house in the book is the Clayton Estate, a Georgian Revival masterpiece in Roslyn, New York, originally designed in 1901 by Odgen Codman Jr.; it is now the Nassau County Museum of Fine Arts.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Frick Symington Sanger offers a 300-page addendum to her biography of her great-grandfather, Henry Clay Frick: An Intimate Portrait (LJ 10/1/98). Here she intersperses biographical details exhaustively explored in her earlier book with colorful and copious commentary on the family mansions and their contents. The four houses examined, the foremost being the Manhattan beaux-arts palace that now houses the Frick collection, were produced by fashionable, academically trained architects and decorators circa 1900, many of whom are the subjects of a resurgence of interest in the wake of Postmodernism. The author has a peculiar critical methodology; she maintains that a vaguely defined pre-World War I period was the "Golden Era" of the arts and that aesthetic choices are somehow determined by deep-seated psychological processes. Bypassing her pop psychology and superficial aesthetic analysis, the reader will uncover an interesting portrayal of one of America's wealthiest industrialists, his heirs, and their extravagant homes. Plentiful photos and illustrations recommend this book to comprehensive architecture and design collections. David Solt sz, Cuyahoga Cty. P.L., Parma, OH Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580931045
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2001
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 12.40 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Meet the Author

Martha Frick Symington Sanger is a great-granddaughter of Henry Clay Frick and the author of Henry Clay Frick: An Intimate Portrait. She has spent the last decade researching, writing about, and lecturing on Frick, his art collection, and his personal history. She has given presentations at the Frick Collection in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has also served as a consultant and commentator for the PBS documentary "Andrew Carnegie: The Richest Man in the World."

Wendell Garrett is senior vice president of American decorative arts at Sotheby's and editor-at-large of the magazine Antiques.

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