Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Arthur W. Grumbine Photograph Collection
[1938]-60, undated
  PR 97

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

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Sandra Markham

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 10, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Arthur W. Grumbine Photograph Collection holds 133 black and white gelatin silver photographs of Manhattan taken by Grumbine, and printed by him in either 5 x 7 inch or 8 x 10 inch formats. Throughout the collection, the photographs reveal Grumbine's love of New York and the texture of street life in a large and complex city. The work also reflects a particular interest in documenting signage, from the spectacular to the vernacular: he was as interested in the electric displays in Times Square as he was in the lettering on neighborhood barber shops, restaurants, and flophouses. Humanity, too, was a special interest; in his inscriptions on the backs of his prints Grumbine asks the viewer to pay attention to a nearly hidden sleeping vagrant in a park scene or to note the well-dressed riders on a downtown ferry.


The collection is divided into two series:

  1. Series I. Street Scenes and Buildings
  2. Series II. Subjects

Grumbine labeled all of the photographs with captions on their reverse sides before he sent them to the Society in the 1990s, and assigned dates if he knew them. Two item-level lists of image titles are available in the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architecture Collections.