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Gude to the David Levinthal Photographs
 PR 351

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

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 05, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Levinthal, David
Title: David Levinthal photographs
Dates: 1994-2007
Abstract: The collection includes 45 color Polaroids taken by photographer David Levinthal of his toy constructions. The collection includes images from four of Levinthal's series: "Baseball," "Hockey," "Coney Island," and "Wild West."
Quantity: 2.5 Linear feet in one flat box
Call Phrase: PR 351

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Biographical/Historical Note

David Levinthal was born in 1949 in San Francisco, later residing in New York City. He earned his BA in Studio Art from Stanford University and his MFA from Yale. His work is found in the collections of several prominent institutions including, in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His work has been published and been the subject of many exhibitions, including a 1997 retrospective at New York's International Center of Photography.

Levinthal's photographs are of toy-like constructions or scenarios of his own creation, of figures, objects, and landscapes. The constructions, and the associated photographs, relate together in various themes or series, such as "Baseball" or "Coney Island," two of the four series represented in New-York Historical's collection.

(The above is based in part on Levinthal's Wikipedia entry and information his website: http://www.davidlevinthal.com/.)

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Scope and Contents note

The collection includes 45 color Polaroids taken by photographer David Levinthal of his toy constructions. The collection includes images from four of Levinthal's series: "Baseball" (23 photographs), "Hockey" (11 photographs), "Coney Island" (6 photographs), and "Wild West" (5 photographs). All photographs are original prints, signed and dated by Levinthal. All are 20" x 24" images, on larger sheets. Except for the Wild West series, the images are noted as "AP" (artist's print) or the number of the limited edition.

All of the photographs are untitled, but subjects are identifiable in many. In the Baseball series, many of the figures are in the uniform of the New York Yankees, though the Brooklyn Dodgers and other teams appear, as do umpires (one in argument with a manager) and a batboy. The Hockey series includes some of the great players, including Wayne Gretzky, Martin Brodeur, and Jaromir Jagr and Mark Messier in New York Rangers garb. The Coney Island series depicts a carousel, Space Ride, roller coaster, and bumper cars. The Wild West includes both placid scenes of frontiersmen in town and of Indians at their teepees and violent scenes of a hanging and a fight to what appears to be imminent death for a native American.

Arrangement Note

The collection is in one box, with the images for each series found together, in the order as presented to N-YHS.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Levinthal, David

Document Type

  • Photographs

Subject Topics

  • Miniature objects--Photographs
  • Photography of sports

Subject Places

  • Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers by appointment only.

Use Restrictions

Permission to reproduce any Print Room holdings through publication must be obtained from: Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 270. Fax: (212) 579-8794.

Preferred Citation Note

This collection should be cited as the David Levinthal photographs, PR 351, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Credit line: Anonymous.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

The collection was donated to N-YHS in December 2017.

Processing Information Note

The collection was processed by archivist Larry Weimer in January 2018.

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Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 1 Baseball (23 photographs)
1998, 2003-2004
Box: 1 Hockey (11 photographs)
Box: 1 Coney Island (6 photographs)
Box: 1 Wild West (5 photographs)
1994, 1998

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