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Guide to the Erika Stone Photograph Collection
(Bulk 1970-1989)
 PR 267

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

© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Kelly McAnnaney

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on January 05, 2012
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Erika Stone Photograph Collection
Dates: [1940-1999] (Bulk 1970-1989)
Abstract: Working as a photojouralist, Erika Stone documented New York City parades, demonstrations and street life.
Quantity: 0.83 Linear feet (1 box)
Location note: Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections
Call Phrase: PR 267

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Biographical Note

Born in Germany in 1924, Erika Stone came to New York in 1936 at age 12. She joined the Photo League in 1940 and, by the age of 17, she created the Bowery series, one of her first bodies of work. While she considers herself self-taught, Stone studied with Berenice Abbott and George Tice at the New School for Social Research.

Stone spent part of her career as a freelance photojournalist as well as being a stringer for both Time and  Der Spiegel magazines, until 1960. After the birth of her two sons, she made photographing her family and children her specialty. She has published several books, including:  Pro Techniques of Photographing Children and  Mostly People: Photographs by a German Immigrant in New York.

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Scope and Content Note

The Erika Stone Photograph Collection spans the period from the 1940s to the 1990s and primarily contains images of life in New York City. The collection, containing forty-four gelatin silver prints, is divided into the following subjects:

CENTRAL PARK includes images of people relaxing on the lawn and watching a concert at night.

CHILDREN contains two images, one portrait of a young boy sitting on a crumbling stoop, the other a boy playing in the water from a fire hydrant.

ELLIS ISLAND has photographs of both the building and new immigrants, taken in 1951. Images include a family in their room, people using the library, a group of men playing cards, a boy reading a Chinese newspaper, a sleeping area, the entrance to the dining hall and a portrait of Philip Forman, head of Ellis Island.

EVENTS is divided into three categories: Miscellaneous, Demonstrations and Parades. MISCELLANEOUS EVENTS include an image of the 1987 New York Marathon and a 1979 Veteran's Day celebration. DEMONSTRATIONS has photographs of gatherings for the environment and anti-war, anti-racism, and anti-homosexuality causes. PARADES include several unidentified parades, a Halloween Parade and a gay pride parade.

OCCUPATIONS contains photographs of a Harlem street preacher, an Orchard Street fruit peddler, an espresso cart, a carriage driver and a clown entertaining a crowd in a park.

RECREATION includes photographs of an African American man playing checkers, a group of men playing cards and a group playing basketball.

STREET SCENES contains photographs of burned out buildings in the Bronx, a German neighborhood, a group in front of the Jewelers Exchange, Rockefeller Center and Chinatown.

SUBWAY images include riders in a graffiti covered subway car and clowns entertaining a crowd in an unidentified subway station.


Photographs are organized by subject.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Stone, Erika.

Document Type

  • Photographic prints.
  • Portraits

Subject Topics

  • Occupations.
  • Parades - New York (State) - New York.
  • Photography of children.

Subject Places

  • Central Park (New York, N.Y.) - Pictorial works.
  • Ellis Island Immigration Station (N.Y. and N.J.) - Pictorial works.
  • Manhattan (New York, N.Y.) - Pictorial works.
  • New York (N.Y.) - Pictorial works.

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Administrative Information


Forty photographs were donated by Erika Stone and four photographs were purchased by the New-York Historical Society in 2007.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. See guidelines in Print Room for details.

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

This collection should be cited as: Erika Stone Photograph Collection, PR 267, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at the Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections

Photographs of New York City street life from a similar time period can be found in the John Albok Photograph Collection (PR 001), the Geographic File (PR 020), the Photographer File (PR 050), the Subject File (PR 068), the Ruth Orkin Photograph Collection (PR 190) and the Andreas Feininger Collection (PR 207).

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Container List

Scope and Contents note

Photographs are organized by subject.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Central Park
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Children
Box: 1 Folder : 3-4 Ellis Island
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Events - Misc.
1979, 1987
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Events - Demonstrations
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Events - Parades
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Occupations
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Recreation
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Street Scenes
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Subway

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