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Guide to the Brooke Astor Papers
1884-2007
 MS 3157

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Eri Matsuda and Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 01, 2022 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series IV. Photographs, circa 1885-2007. 3.75 Linear feet

Scope and Contents

The series holds 8 photograph albums and a variety of loose photographs. The albums are listed individually in the container list. The earliest dates from about 1912 to 1916 and includes photographs of Brooke and others in China and Honolulu when Brooke's father was stationed there. Most of the albums date from the 1970s-1990s, with photographs of various social settings, receptions, dinners, and other events.

The loose photographs range from the 1880s, depicting Brooke's grandparents, to the last years of Brooke's life in the 2000s. Some of these include her husbands Charles Marshall and Vincent Astor. Most are of social gatherings, receptions, events at New York Library and other institutions supported by Astor, and similar photographs.

Arrangement

The series is arranged with albums first, followed by general photographs arranged roughly by format, subject and chronologically. Most of the photographs were boxed loose with no arrangement when delivered to N-YHS. The sorting of these photographs into the various folders noted in the container list was done by the processing archivist and is not a reflection of any original order.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: 5 Photograph album [1].

Scope and Contents

Album of photographs, primarily snapshots from China. Brooke (Russell) Astor and her parents appear in several. Some are captioned. At the back are some color transparencies of artworks/drawings, likely by Brooke.

circa 1912-1916
Offsite-Box: 5 Photograph album [2]. "Mrs. Vincent Astor Jewels"

Scope and Contents

A label in the album indicates it was compiled in 1927 so it is unclear which Mrs. Vincent Astor is being referred to.

1927
Offsite-Box: 5 Photograph album [3]. "Dedication of the bench in memory of Alexander Russell, Princeton University"

Scope and Contents

Photos by Cliff Moore. Includes photos of those gathered for the dedication, with a typescript of the benediction by Rev. Richard N. Chrisman.

1977 July 28
Offsite-Box: 4 Folder : 1 Photograph album [4]. Chinese Garden Court, Helmet Exchange

Scope and Contents

Photographs removed from an album. Photos are of the hard hat exchange and press conference at the construction site of the Astor Chinese Garden Court in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1980 January 10
Offsite-Box: 4 Photograph album [5]. Presidential Citizen's Award

Scope and Contents

Photographs from the presentation of the award to Brooke Astor by Ronald Reagan and from the following reception, at the White House.

1988
Offsite-Box: 4 Photograph album [6]

Scope and Contents

The contents are generally uncaptioned and undated, but dated items range from 1989-1992. Photos are primarily of Brooke Astor at various events, receptions, and social settings. Notable other people in the photos are Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Vartan Gregorian, Bob Hope, Barbara Bush, Edward Koch, and Norman Schwarzkopf, among many other unidentified individuals. There are photos from an Outward Bound outing; at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; with Marie Christopher when she was given the Brooke Russell Astor Award (1990); at the Seamen's Church Institute (groundbreaking/construction?); at the Arthur Ross birthday celebration (1991); a dog party; Morgan Library Christmas Party; etc. There is a thank you letter from Gregorian for Astor's endowment of the Bryant Park bookstack.

circa 1989-1992
Offsite-Box: 4 Photograph album [7]

Scope and Contents

The contents are generally uncaptioned and undated, but dated items range from 1993-1994. Photos are primarily of Brooke Astor at various events, receptions, and social settings. Notable other people in the photos are Ronald Reagan, Nancy Reagan, Vartan Gregorian, Mario Cuomo, Edward Koch, and Norman Schwarzkopf, among many other unidentified individuals. There are photos from the opening of the Bartow-Pell Carriage House (1993); at the Briarcliff Rotary Club; from various travels (Maine, Santo Domingo); and at the Hadrian Award Luncheon honoring David Rockefeller (1994); among others. Includes some letters of thanks and transmittals of photographs.

circa 1992-1995
Offsite-Box: 4 Photograph album [8]

Scope and Contents

The contents are generally uncaptioned and undated, but the bulk of the dated items range from 1994-1997. There are a small number of photos here that date from perhaps the 1970s. Photos are primarily of Brooke Astor at various events, receptions, and social settings. Notable other people in the photos are David Rockefeller and Felix Rohatyn, among many other unidentified individuals. There are photos from the Hadrian Award Luncheon honoring Lord Rothschild (1995) and The Aga Khan (1996), at the New York Public Library, with dogs and in gardens, among others. Includes some letters of thanks and transmittals of photographs.

circa 1970, 1995-1997
Offsite-Box: 4 Folder : 2-5 Early photographs (4 folders)

Scope and Contents

Photos of Brooke Astor as a child through early adulthood, her parents and grandparents, and others, mostly unidentified. There are many copy prints of photos from Haiti and from China (many from photo album [1]). There may be some photos of Charles Marshall here as well.

circa 1885-1930s?
Offsite-Box: 4 Folder : 6 Photographs. Charles Marshall

Scope and Contents

A small number of photos with Marshall. There may be others in the folders of early photographs.

1930s-1950s?
Offsite-Box: 4 Folder : 7-8 Photographs. Vincent Astor (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

One framed photo of Vincent with a dog; a carte-de-visite labeled as Vincent's father (as a child); slides of Ferncliff; portrait of Vincent in military uniform; Brooke and Vincent; and a photo-illustration of a pavilion for "Captain & Mrs. Vincent Astor" (1948).

1940s?-1950s
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 15 Portrait photographs of Brooke Marshall/Brooke Astor
1940s-2007
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 16 Photographs. New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo)

Scope and Contents

Photos of elephants, including baby "Astor," gorillas, lions; Brooke Astor riding an elephant in the Asian section; and a group shot (of trustees?).

circa 1980s
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 17 Photographs. Various black and white

Scope and Contents

Dinners, social settings, celebratory events.

circa 1964-1990s?
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 18-19 Photographs. Various color (2 folders)

Scope and Contents

Social settings, New York Public Library, interiors and exteriors of residences, dogs.

1960s-2000s?
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 20 Photographs. Ambassador James Clement Dunn presenting credentials in Madrid
1953
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 21 Photographs. Astor Court luncheon

Scope and Contents

Luncheon hosted by Brooke Astor for the Asian Art Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

1991
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 22 Photographs of drawings of Brooke Astor
undated
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 23 Postcard. Brooke Astor with Lillian Gish at Merchant's House Museum
1982
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 24 Photographs. New York Public Library
1990s?
Offsite-Box: 3 Folder : 25 Transparencies of artworks (by Brooke Astor?)

Scope and Contents

See also the back of photo album [1] for additional transparencies.

undated
Offsite-Box: 6 Folder : 1-2 Oversize photographs

Scope and Contents

Holds: Copy print of a 1914 photograph of Mrs. John Astor (Vincent's mother) in Statue of Liberty costume at the Anglo-American Peace Centenary pageant at Albert Hall (contextual note with photo); Brooke Astor with Lyndon Baines Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson; "library at 120 East End Ave; Vincent Astor's favorite red leather chair" (1959); 3 photos on-board Vincent Astor's yacht Nourmahal (circa 1928?); photo of a painting by Betsy Flagg Melcher of Brooke Astor (1963); Vincent Astor by building models (1950s?).

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