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Rita and Daniel Fraad papers, 1926-1997

Biographical Note

Rita (1915-2004) and Daniel Fraad (1912-1987) were American art collectors in New York, New York.
Rita (née Ritch) and Daniel Fraad were born in Brooklyn, New York, and met in their youth. Daniel graduated in 1935 from Brown University with a B.A. in biology and Rita graduated from Smith College in 1937 with a degree in political science. In 1938, Daniel joined Allied Maintenance Corporation (later Ogden Maintenance Corporation), a maintenance and cleaning services company started by his father in 1888. In the same year that Daniel joined the family business, Rita and Daniel were married. The couple eventually settled in Scarsdale, New York.
Rita and Daniel Fraad actively supported art institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Academy of Design, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. In 1965, the couple became members of the Archives of American Art and in 1989 Rita joined the Board of Trustees. She also sat on the Visiting Committee on American Art and Sculpture for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was a member of the American Art Forum of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM). Rita was a SAAM commissioner for twelve years, and served as chair of the Collections Committee.
Over the years, Rita and Daniel Fraad amassed a museum-quality collection of American art which included works from George Bellows, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Cole, Jasper Cropsey, Arthur Davies, Charles Demuth, Marsden Hartley, Robert Henri, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, George Luks, Maurice Prendergast, John Singer Sargent, Everett Shinn, John Sloan, Joseph Stella, and James Whistler. In 1964, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York, organized an exhibition of the Fraad collection which traveled to the Addison Gallery of American Art, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1985, the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas also presented an exhibition of the Fraad collection.
Daniel Fraad died in 1987 and Rita passed away in 2004. In December 2004, the Fraad collection was auctioned at Sotheby's and raised over sixty five million dollars. The sale broke auction records; the amount was the highest total for any single owner's collection.