Museum of the City of New York

Overview

Berenice Abbott | Pennsylvania Station, 1936 | Museum of the City of New YorkARTstor is collaborating with the Museum of the City of New York to share approximately 55,000 images of New York City in the Digital Library. The images have been digitized from the Museum's Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Collection, which documents the built environment of New York City and its changing cultural, political, and social landscape from its earliest days to the present. Highlights from the more than 500,000 views of the city and its people that make up the collection will be shared through the Digital Library, providing a comprehensive visual record of the history of New York City from the late 19th century through the late 20th century. Through this partnership, the Museum and ARTstor will make this important material more broadly available for non-commercial scholarly and educational purposes. Susan Henshaw Jones, the Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York, commented: "The Museum's collection of photographs is one of the great resources for images of New York City throughout its history, and it is essential to our mission that they be viewed by broad audiences. Partnering with ARTstor is a perfect strategy for reaching this goal."

The Museum's collection of photographs is one of the great resources for images of New York City throughout its history, and it is essential to our mission that they be viewed by broad audiences. Partnering with ARTstor is a perfect strategy for reaching this goal.

Susan Henshaw Jones, the Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York



The collection in ARTstor will include the archives of noted photographers Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942), Andreas Feininger (1906-1999), Jacob Riis (1849-1914), and Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964). Also included are images produced by amateur photographers, such as Robert Bracklow, Arthur D. Chapman, Alta Ruth Hahn, and Roy Perry, who captured daily life and the architecture of neighborhoods like the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. Studios of professional photographers such as Beals, van Vechten, and Ernest Walter Histed (1862-1947) produced portraits of notable personalities, whether society figures, politicians, artists, writers, or actors. In addition to works by individual photographers, important archives from commercial photography firms document a wide range of subjects. The Byron Company collection contains more than 25,000 images, which record life in New York City between 1890 and 1942. Founded by Joseph Byron (1847-1923), the Byron Company specialized in photographing theatrical productions and ships and ocean liners, as well as scenic views, society events, and portraits. The Gottscho-Schleisner collection comprises approximately 7,000 images of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other subjects. Frequently commissioned by architects, designers, owners, and architectural publications, the firm of Samuel G. Gottscho (1875-1971) and William H. Schleisner (1912-1962) photographed the interiors of middle- and upper-class homes in New York, recording evolving styles and trends in 20th century American architecture and interior design. Similarly, the commercial studio of Nathaniel and Lionel Wurts focused on architectural photography, producing more than 13,000 negatives now housed in the museum. The Wurts Brothers Company (1894-1979) was commissioned by architects, developers, contractors, and manufacturers to photograph a wide range of buildings, both commercial and residential, such as apartment houses, townhouses, brownstones, skyscrapers, factories, churches, hotels, banks, theaters, libraries, restaurants, bridges, parks, etc.

The Museum of the City of New York presents and interprets the past, present, and future of New York City and celebrates its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. Founded in 1923 as a private, non-profit corporation, the Museum serves the people of New York and visitors from across the country and around the world through exhibitions, collections, publications, and school and public programs. Exhibitions of photographs at the Museum, and related publications, including The Mythic City: Photographs of New York by Samuel H. Gottscho, 1925-1940, Only in New York, and Willing to be Lucky: Ambitious New Yorkers in the Pages of Look Magazine, among others, have received critical acclaim from the press and the public alike.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 76,000
Percentage of completion 49%
Collection URL http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/mcny

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: November 25, 2013

Image Credits

Berenice Abbott | Pennsylvania Station, 1936 | Museum of the City of New York.

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