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The Henry Clay Frick Houses: Architecture, Interiors, Landscapes in the Golden Era [Hardcover]

Martha Frick Symingt Sanger , Wendell Garrett


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Book Description

Dec 3 2001
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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: The Monacelli Press (Dec 3 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580931049
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580931045
  • Product Dimensions: 30.7 x 25.7 x 3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 Kg
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,450,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From 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 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

A paean to ostentatious capitalism and the glory of the golden era of domestic architecture and design (1880 through World War I), Sanger's comprehensive history of steel tycoon and art collector Frick's opulent houses, which easily compete with those of the Vanderbilts and Carnegies, evokes a bygone era of elaborate luxury. A gorgeous coffee-table book, it offers a detailed, even chatty description of the creation of each estate, from Clayton in Pittsburgh to One East Seventieth Street in New York City, accompanied by profuse illustrations from the family's archives. As far as decorative arts go, the Frick collections are fabulous examples of early-twentieth-century styles and taste--ranging from the crowded Victorian to the Beaux Arts school and neoclassical revivals. But this is no ordinary work of scholarship and appreciation: it's written by Frick's great-granddaughter and biographer, who remembers these edifices as homes rather than museum pieces, a viewpoint that serves to bring these palatial residences to life. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FRICK Sept. 22 2006
By Shannon Deason - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Henry Clay Frick really knew how to live a gilded age life, and you see the evidence in this fantastic book. The images are crisp and well conceived and the text highly informative. I expecially liked the section on Frick's famous mansion on Fifth Avenue in NYC, he was determined to out build Carneige and he suceeded, it is a beaux-art tour de force and the perfect setting today for his singular collection. If you have any interest in Frick, Guilded Age architecture, or fine books in general, then i can't concieve of you being anything but thrilled with this purchase.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Text, High Quality Photo's that Highlight's Gracious Living During the " Gilded Age": May 16 2013
By John "Silence is Golden" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a stunning achievement of scholarship that details the homes, their furnishings and gardens of Henry Clay Frick {HCF} and his family.It highlights how money, care, taste and a discerning eye for great art can create architecture/residences that are - each their own right a unique work of art. The homes detailed include Clayton House in Pittsburg, Eagle Rock on Boston's North Shore, One East 70th Street in Manhattan - the seat of the Frick Collection, The Long Island Estate {also called Clayton} of Childs Frick, HCF's son and Westmoreland Farm, the country estate of HCF's strong willed, worshipfull and only surviving daughter, Helen whose presence and influence figures prominently thru-out this book. Helen,{born in 1889 and died in 1985} is HCF's champion, his defender and the main force in maintaining and protecting the integrity and unique "Frick Ambiance" of her fathers and families homes and in this - she was eminently singleminded, ruthless and quite sucessfull. HCF's great grandaughter, Martha Frick Symington Sanger offers unique insights, perspectives,photographs and family stories/history for each of these homes that present a way of living that is akin to a civilzation now "Gone with the Wind". This is a superb "coffee table book" with over 300 photographs, original architectual drawings - a combination of great art, architecture and history. I was particularily taken with the 104 room Eagle Rock Estate which unfortunately was demolished in 1969 due to prohibive taxes and maintainence costs. The size and elegance of it is beyond belief !! If you live in or visit New York City I urge you to visit the Frick Mansion and its magnificent art collection. This book is one for a reader to savor and enjoy over and over - great art and architecture combined with it's two {2] main characthers Henry Clay Frick, ruthless capitalist and art collector of taste/ distinction and Helen Clay Frick, "keeper of the Flame" - devoted to her father's memory, her familly and to the Frick residences and Frick collection. This is a 5 star book in every way - Highly Recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History brought alive Aug. 16 2008
By Kimberly Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
a wonderful book with great pictures that tells a very personal story, written from the families' perspective. Nice attention to the details that abound.

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