Henry Clay Frick
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Henry Clay Frick (December 19, 1849 – December 2, 1919) was an American industrialist, financier, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern. He also financed the construction of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company, and owned extensive real estate holdings in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. He later built the historic neoclassical Frick Mansion (now a landmark building in Manhattan) and at his death donated his extensive collection of old master paintings and fine furniture to create the celebrated Frick Collection and art museum. Once known by his critics as “the most hated man in America,” — Portfolio.com named Frick one of the "Worst American CEOs of All Time"
The Frick Collection
In 1910, Frick purchased property at Fifth Avenue and 70th Street to construct a mansion, now known as The Frick Collection. Built to a massive size and covering a full city block, Frick told friends he was building it to "make Carnegie's place look like a miner's shack." In 1914, Frick built the William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
To this day, the Frick Collection is home to one of the finest collections of European paintings in the United States. It contains many works of art dating from the pre-Renaissance up to the post-Impressionist eras, but in no logical or chronological order. It includes several very large paintings by J. M. W. Turner and John Constable. In addition to paintings, it also contains an exhibition of carpets, porcelain, sculptures, and period furniture. Frick continued to live at both his New York mansion and at Clayton until his death.