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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Andreas Feininger Photograph Collection
[1939]-1954, 1970-1984
  PR 207

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jennifer Lewis

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 06, 2014
Description is in English.

Container List

Series I: New York in the Forties

Scope and Contents note

Series I consists of a series of 162 gelatin silver photographs, ranging in size from 8 x 10 to 13 1/4 x 22 inches, that were published in Feininger's 1978 volume New York in the Forties. Photographs are arranged alphabetically by subjects which were assigned during processing. Photographs depict New York City neighborhoods, buildings, street life, shops, bridges and elevated railroads between ca. 1939 and 1954. His classic telephoto views of the New York skyline, the crowds of 42nd Street, and the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge rising above its pedestrian traffic make up the bulk of this series. In the introduction to  New York in the Forties, John von Hartz notes that the "the 40s linger in the collective consciousness of New Yorkers as 'the good old days,'" and while Feininger's photographs show the grandeur of the towering cityscape, he also points his camera at a more ominous side of New York in his portraits of men at tattoo parlors on the Bowery, the poor shoeshine man on Fifth Avenue, desperate men lined up outside an employment agency at the tail end of the depression, and the dark skyline of the World War II dimouts.

Feininger often focused his lens on the shops, vendors and other market places of the city. His series of photographs on the Jewish Lower East Side shows the preponderance of the Yiddish language on signs and the variety of religious Judaica and kosher food shops catering to the needs of the local community. Views of Chinatown shops portray men lined up to read the latest war-related headlines on the window of a Chinese language newspaper, as well as Chinese groceries and vendors. Other views show Italians on Mulberry Street and grocery stores in Harlem.

Views of New Yorkers engaging in leisure time activities are included in Feininger's photographs of Coney Island and Central Park. Other subjects include the elevated railroads, ship traffic, passengers boarding ocean liners on the Hudson River, and the lights and theaters of Times Square. Snow covered land- and cityscapes can also be found under the subjects South Street and Lower Manhattan Waterfront, Central Park, and Fifth Avenue.

One folder of oversize hinged views from this series is housed at the end of the collection in Flat Files, Folder 87. Notes have been provided throughout the folder listing for this series to lead researchers to pertinent items.

Most of the photographs in this series are stamped, dated, and signed by the photographer. Photographs from this series were exhibited in The New-York Historical Society exhibit New York in the Forties: Photographs by Andreas Feininger in 1978.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 42nd Street (86, 87, 88, 94, 95)
1940, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Bowery (100, 101, 102, 103)
1940
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Brooklyn Bridge (20, 28-29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34)
1940-1954
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Brooklyn Waterfront and Brooklyn Navy Yard (24, 25, 26, 27)
1946
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Central Park (138, 139, 140, 141)
1940
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Churches and Cemeteries (71, 170, 180-181)
1940, 1952
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Coney Island (142-143, 144, 145)
undated
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Delivery Trucks and Carts (112, 113)
1940
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Downtown Skyport (14, 15)
1940
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Elevated Railroads and Elevated Highways (146, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 159)

General note

See also: Flat files, Folder 87

[1939-1940]
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Empire State Building, one during the 1943 Dimout (1, 80)
1943-1944
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Ferries and Ferry Terminals (38, 39, 40, 41, 50, 55)
1940-1942
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Fifth Avenue, one during Blizzard of 1947 (66, 67, 68-69, 105)
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Flatiron Building (73)
1940
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Fulton Fish Market (21, 22, 23)
[1940], 1946
Box: 2 Folder : 16 George Washington Bridge (35)
1948
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Gravesend Bay (178, 179)
1946, 1948
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Harlem (104)

General note

See also: Flat files, Folder 87

[1940-1950]
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Hudson River and Riverfront (46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 60, 61, 64-65)

General note

See also: Flat files, Folder 87

1940-1950
Box: 2 Folder : 20 La Guardia Airport (174, 175)
1940
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Lower Manhattan (160, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 168, 169, 171)
1940, 1946
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Madison Square Garden, interior during Joe Louis v. Joe Walcott fight (98)
1947
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Manhattan Bridge (36)
[1940-1949]
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Metropolitan Opera House, interior (99)
[1940-1949]
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Miscellaneous Street Scenes (74,75, 166, 167)
1940-[1949]
Box: 2 Folder : 26 Pennsylvania Station, interiors (79, 172, 173)
1940-1943
Box: 3 Folder : 27 Rockefeller Center (70, 72)
1940
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Shops, Vendors, and Stands - Chinatown (134, 135, 136, 137)
[1940-1942]
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Shops, Vendors, and Stands - Jewish Lower East Side (118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 125, 126, 127)
1940-[1949]
Box: 3 Folder : 30 Shops, Vendors, and Stands - Miscellaneous (106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 114, 115, 116, 117, 128, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133)
1940-[1949]
Box: 3 Folder : 31 Skyline Views of Manhattan (2-3, 6, 7, 8-9, 12, 76, 77, 84, 85)

General note

See also: Flat files, Folder 87

1941-1949
Box: 3 Folder : 32 South Street and Lower Manhattan Waterfront (13, 16, 17, 18, 19, 44-45, 54)

General note

See also: Flat files, Folder 87

1940-[1949]
Box: 3 Folder : 33 Statue of Liberty, during 1943 dimout (81)
1943
Box: 3 Folder : 34 Times Square (78, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93)
1940-1950
Box: 3 Folder : 35 Williamsburg Bridge (37)
1940

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