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Guide to the Florence Nightingale Levy Papers
1899-1946 (bulk dates 1908-1926)
  MS 382

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

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Courtney O. Lavery

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

Scope and Content Note

The Florence Nightingale Levy Papers pertain mostly to Levy's professional life and activities in arts administration and education in New York City. The bulk of the collection is concentrated in the years between 1908 - 1926 and includes correspondence, clippings, and Levy family legal documents.

Florence Nightingale Levy was founder and editor of the American Art Annual, 1898 - 1918, and founder and director of the American Federation of Arts, 1913 - 1945. The American Federation of Arts is a clearinghouse for information regarding the visual arts, and publisher of the American Art Annual. She served as Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and received letters in that capacity from H.W. Kent, Blanchard Randall, and Henry Wiegand, 1922 - 1925. Included is a one-page ledger on the finances, expenses, assets, and liabilities of the museum, 1923.

Levy also served as the General Manager of the Art Alliance of America, through a placement bureau and occasional exhibits, this organization encouraged the greater industrial use of domestic artists and design at a time when European sources were disrupted. Correspondence between W. Frank Purdy, President, and Elizabeth Berkeley Grimball, Secretary, of the Art Alliance centers on Levy's ongoing wish to resign, 1919 - 1920.

The collection includes personal letters to Levy from James Parton Haney, director of art education in New York high schools; written mostly from Europe, 1908 - 1923. Many of the letters are on hotel stationary from various locations and include Haney's sketches and drawings of local scenery, people, and monuments. These letters provide insight into the personal life of Florence Nightingale Levy and her fifteen-year friendship with Haney. Much of Haney's career is covered in these letters. Also included are a few photographs of Haney during this time period. In addition, there are several obituaries, memorials, and letters about Haney, written after his death in 1923.

The collection also includes Levy Family legal documents, including an autograph book given by Levy's mother, Pauline, to her in 1879 and includes an autograph of A. Stieglitz. There is also a memorial tribute to her father, Joseph Arthur Levy, from Ancient Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Mason Society of which he was a member. Other documents included are an indenture between Arthur Lumley Levy and the Congregation Shaaray Tefilia for seats in the 44th St. synagogue, 1869; a conveyance of 1000 acres in Georgia, 1794, and the transfer of the same deed from Lucius Field to Arthur Lumley Levy, 1837; citizenship paper issued by the Marine Court of the City of New York to Esther Levy, 1840; marriage certificate in Hebrew between Joseph Arthur Levy and Pauline Goodheim, 1869; and passports from the years, 1839 and 1894. In addition there are signed letters from Arthur Lumley Levy to his parents, 1824; to Joseph Arthur Levy on his 21st birthday, 1861; and to Florence Nightingale Levy on her 18th birthday, 1888. Family members represented in this folder are Arthur Lumley and Esther Levy, parents of Joseph Arthur Levy, Joseph Arthur and Pauline (Goodheim), Florence Nightingale Levy's parents.


The collection is organized by type of material, then chronologically.