glyph 603: industry industrialist art collection museum, book . American business history . The Frick Collection, New York City ... Martha Frick Symington Sanger
Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was one of America's great 19th century industrialists, and also one of America's greatest art collectors.
Martha Sanger's biography of her great grandfather is beautifully written and illustrated, weaving an intricate pattern from elements of Frick's work in coke, iron, intertwined with insights into his great art collection, now displayed at The Frick, New York City.
The author poses this difficult question (implied in the book) about effect of the death, in 1891, of Martha, Frick's six year old daughter.
It would be possible for a composer, a titan such as Gustave Mahler, to write a "Frick" symphony through which would run a deep strong romantic current beneath a heavy adamantine surface of stone and iron, somehow beyond words closing the astonishing gap between Frick's business and artistic lives.
... the eternal question. Had Frick not fallen into protracted mourning would he have created the Frick Collection? Or if he had resolved his grief, how would the Collection he created have differed? Creativity, I believe, is often the antidote for protracted pain and longing.
An excellent review, by Donald Miller in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, October 22, 1998
September 23, 2019; edited/updated October 17, 2019