The Top 100 Greatest New Yorkers — #83
Henry Clay Frick (1849 – 1919)
New York has always attracted the rich and powerful titans of industry. The coke supplier to Andrew Carnegie’s steel company, Henry Clay Frick, was no exception. But Pennsylvania native Frick’s place one of the great New Yorkers is earned, not for his business acumen, but for his personal hobby: art collecting. Upon his death, Frick bequeathed his lavish Fifth Avenue mansion and its entire art collection to the city for the creation of one of our greatest art museum. Filling his home with masterpieces by Rembrandt, Turner, Vermeer, and other greats, Frick taught high society how to collect tastefully. Not merely seeking objects d’art for the sake of accumulation, Frick said he collected “paintings that are pleasant to live with”. And today, all New Yorkers get the chance to live with them for the length of an afternoon.
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