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Guide to the Burr McIntosh Photograph Collection
 PR 41

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Ricky Hunter

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on August 20, 2019
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Burr McIntosh Photograph Collection spans the period from ca. 1900 to 1910 and documents McIntosh's career as a photographer of prominent figures in the arts, society, and politics, many of whom were his friends and acquaintances. The vast majority of the ca. 3,000 prints were made by the New-York Historical Society in the late 1940s from glass plate negatives taken during the period 1900 - 1910; the negatives were destroyed after being printed. The remaining glass plates, approximately 600, do not have prints.

The collection consists of early work such as images from the Spanish-American War siege of Santiago, Cuba, which he covered for Leslie's Weekly and published in  The Little I Saw of Cuba. Another group of photos shows Secretary Taft's good will trip to the Philippines in 1905. Most of the remaining images are society and celebrity portraits, many of which were published in McIntosh's magazine. Actors Ethel and John Barrymore appear at the seashore; philanthropist A. G. Vanderbilt celebrates a holiday at his Adirondack lodge; ingenue Evelyn Nesbit poses seductively; and architect Charles F. McKim enjoys a quiet country outing. Children playing, professional New York theatrical groups, and miscellaneous buildings are also included in the collection. Society sporting gatherings such as horse shows and events, including polo and fox hunting, and sailing at Newport, Rhode Island, are also well represented within the collection.

Identification of the sitter is from the original caption information on the glass plate negatives, usually limited to the sitter's name that, in some cases, is only a surname. The unidentified portraits in all the series include many theatrical, costumed portraits of men, women, and groups. Most of the sitters appear in more than one series.


The collection is divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I. 8 x 10 inch Prints
  2. Series II. 5 x 7 inch Prints
  3. Series III. 11 x 14 inch Prints
  4. Series IV. Glass Plate Negatives

Thereunder, photographs are filed alphabetically by sitter.