Frick Art & Historical Center

Through January 11
Various times

There’s no place quite like The Frick Art & Historical Center during the holidays. Hosting its signature Home for the Holidays programs and amenities through January 11th, the awarding-winning site exudes charm, character and coziness.

A highlight for the 2014 season is the site’s new seasonal tour of Clayton, the historic East End home of the Henry Clay Frick family. This year’s Home for the Holidays tour of Clayton focuses on the years between 1905 and 1913, when siblings Helen and Childs Frick were older and Christmas trips to Clayton meant seeing family and old friends, and reconnecting with their childhood home.

Step into Clayton, and back into time, to experience the warmth, celebration and all of the trimmings of a traditional early-20th-century Pittsburgh Christmas. Inside the grand interiors, visitors will enjoy the comforting scent of fresh pine and the glow of shiny artifacts on display. Learn about Helen Clay Frick’s well-documented trip back to Pittsburgh in December 1908, when she made her society debut at age 20. Helen steadfastly chose for this momentous occasion to happen in Pittsburgh, rather than in NYC, where her family had moved in 1905. Helen and her mother planned an elegant party for December 16th, which was announced to some 70 friends at the Pittsburgh Golf Club.

Visitors will discover some of the details of Helen’s historic debut, and a dinner party that Mr. and Mrs. Frick  hosted in an adjoining room. Bringing the tour to life will be newspaper accounts of the party, historic photos and archival materials, as well as vivid descriptions of Victorian holiday decor, such as tall crystal vases filled with pink Killarney roses and white lilacs, and serpentine garlands of farleyense ferns.

Tour-goers will see Clayton holiday favorites such as children’s stockings, toys and books, as well as additional artifacts like travel sets, clothing and family games played on cold winter nights. Don’t miss seeing the actual book that fellow industrialist Andrew Carnegie gave to Henry Clay Frick in 1893 as a Christmas gift.

Always dazzling is Clayton’s holiday decor, which is based on photographs dating to 1900—some taken by friend and neighbor Lewis Stephany and some by Childs Frick. Also seen in the archival photos is a gift table, located on the enclosed porch near the family’s Christmas tree, containing books and family items that were given as gifts during the holidays. An abundance of live poinsettias, fresh greens and a live tree help to bring bring the holiday spirit to Clayton just as they did over 100 years ago.

While there, be sure to check out the fantastic new Frick Museum Store for lots of holiday inspirations and gifts for everyone on your list.

In addition to the special holiday tour of Clayton, the Frick offers dining opportunities and holidays programs for all ages.

View a complete schedule of Home for the Holidays events at The Frick.

Jennifer BaronEvents & Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.