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Guide to the James Boyd Collection of New York City Etchings
1861-1940, undated (bulk, 1910-1939)
 PR 7

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Valerie S. Komor, Janet Koszalka, and Sandra Markham

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on December 14, 2022
Description is in English.

Scope and Contents

In 1935, James Boyd presented to the Society 460 prints (primarily, but not all, etchings) by 61 artists (primarily, but not all, American), given in memory of his wife. He added to the collection through 1944, bringing the total to 508 items. The prints are now arranged by artist, and thereunder by the "Boyd number" (from 1 to 508) in the order in which they were accessioned. The Boyd numbers appear in parentheses following the title of the print.

The prints depict the towering city of the decades between 1910 and 1935: the Empire State Building and other major skyscrapers, the Wall Street area and other street scenes, various Manhattan neighborhoods and churches, the New York harbor, East River bridges, the George Washington Bridge, and views from high vantage points. What sets this corpus of late-nineteenth-century/early-modern prints apart is its inclusion of "second tier" artists, whose work adds to the spectrum of printmaking in New York during the first half of the twentieth century.

Artists well represented in the original gift include Anton Schutz (121); William C. McNulty (35); and Edith Nankivell (31). Artists with more than one print include John Taylor Arms, G. L. Briem, Kerr Eby, William Ferrari, Jack Fischer, Paul Geissler, William Heyer, F. Leo Hunter, Nat Lowell, Charles W. Mielatz, H. Loren Mills, Fugi Nakamizo, B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Joseph Pennell, Will J. Quinlan, Ernest D. Roth, Louis Schmidt, Paul Simonsen, John Sloan, Bernhardt Wall, W. H. Wallace, and Elisha K. K. Wetherill.

The collection also includes material from Boyd's own files: two letters (1927, 1928) from French print dealer Louis Godefroy to Boyd; New York (1927-33) and Paris (1927-31) print exhibition catalogs; four art periodicals (1899-1929); and one photograph (1933) of artist William McNulty in his studio.


The collection is arranged into the following series:

  • Series I. New York City Etchings
  • Oversize Material from Series I
  • Series II. Accompanying material