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Guide to the Jessie Tarbox Beals Photograph Collection
[1900-1940]
(Bulk 1904-1920)
  PR 4

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Container List

Series II: Places

Scope and Contents note

Series II spans the years from 1902 to 1940 and includes photos of places visited by Beals, as well as her home in New York City. Photos are arranged by state, and thereunder by city or subject. Early photos are of trips to Arkansas and Texas; few of these are captioned. Twenty-nine photos date from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904.

The photographs of Boston appear to have been taken between 1902 and 1910. Most Boston views are of popular tourist sites, such as the Boston Common, the Shaw Memorial, the Massachusetts State House, and the Park Street Church. Many are taken in winter, specifically in or after snowstorms. A few photos were artistically mounted on larger paper, with Beals signature and studio location written at the lower right of the photo. Many of these are reprints dating from the early 1930s, when Beals was living in Chicago and trying to sell her older photographs to a new audience.

Although Beals took over 5,000 photographs of every aspect of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the group held in this collection focuses on the airshow competition in the fall of 1904. Three of the four prime competitors, Thomas Baldwin's "California Arrow," Francois' "Ville de St. Mande," and Thomas Benbow's "Montana Meteor," are shown. These early aircraft are seen in flight or tethered to the ground and surrounded by onlookers. One photo shows Beals herself seated on the pilot's platform of the "Ville de St. Mande." Pilots William Avery, Thomas Baldwin, and Roy Knabenshue are shown with their aircrafts, and the fair's Governor, Benjamin B. Odell, is shown in the transportation building.

The New York scenes are generally of lower Manhattan, including the Woolworth Building, City Hall and the Municipal Building, and the New York Stock Exchange. They also include a view of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, and a view of a suffrage rally in Union Square. Most New York photographs are of Greenwich Village and of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration held in the fall of 1909.

The photos of Greenwich Village generally show establishments frequented by bohemians. Often the proprietors of these shops are shown in their element. More formal portraits of some Greenwich Village bohemians can be found in Series I. Those pictured in this series include: Romayne Benjamin, Bobby Edwards, Tiny Tim (Timothy Felter), Grace Godwin, Ami Mali Hicks, Adele Kennedy, Elizabeth Koenig, Romany Marie (Marie Marchand), and Kitty Morton. Street scenes show small streets such as Christopher Street, MacDougal Alley, and Patchin Place, a small court off 11th Street where many bohemians lived during the teens.

The postcards of Greenwich Village are remarkable in that they show images which Beals intended for sale, and which did, in fact, sell to tourists, and undoubtedly to residents of the Village as well. Villagers grumbled about the increased commercialization of their neighborhood after the war, but they were as self-promotional as Beals. Several of these postcards have Beals' humorous verses about the people or places illustrated. The Village was a remarkably fluid place, and establishments often had several incarnations over the years. One example in these photographs is Beals' own Village Art Gallery, which went on to become the Crumperie, a tea room.

The photos of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration were sold to the Celebration Commission by Beals. Her numbers appear on the backs, but other numbers appear attached to the front, perhaps indicating that the photos had been removed from an album. The photos focus on the historical parade held in Manhattan, but also show the fleet being welcomed upriver at Newburgh with a "living flag" of people attired in red, white, and blue.

Images are arranged by state and thereunder by subject.

Arkansas

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 24 General Views
1903

Massachusetts-Boston

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 25 General Views
[1902-10]
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Boston Common
[1902-10]
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Chestnut Street
[1902-10]
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Custom House
[1902-10]
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Louisburg Square
[1902-10]
Box: 3 Folder : 30 Museum of Fine Arts
[1902-10]
Box: 4 Folder : 31 Old South Church
[1902-10]
Box: 4 Folder : 32 Park Street Church
[1902-10]
Box: 4 Folder : 33 Shaw Memorial
[1902-10]
Box: 4 Folder : 34 State House
[1902-10]
Box: 4 Folder : 35 Woman's City Club
[1902-10]

Massachusetts--Nantucket

 

General note

See: Box 6

Missouri--St. Louis

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 36 Louisiana Purchase Exposition
1904

New York--New York

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : 37 General views
[1905-40]
Box: 4 Folder : 38 Greenwich Village--General views
[1905-20]
Box: 4 Folder : 39 Greenwich Village--Grace Godwin's Garrett
[1917-18]
Box: 4 Folder : 40 Greenwich Village--Parades and productions
[1915-18]
Box: 5 Folder : 41 Greenwich Village--Postcards
[1905-20], undated
Box: 5 Folder : 42 Greenwich Village--Street scenes

General note

See also: Box 6, Folder 55

[1905-20], undated
Box: 5 Folder : 43 Hudson-Fulton Celebration
1909

Texas--San Antonio

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 44 Farmhouse
[1905]

Unidentified/Miscellaneous

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 45 Unidentified
1904

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