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Guide to the Mathew B. Brady Studio Portrait Photograph Collection
1856-1869
(Bulk 1861-1869)
  PR 85

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


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Sandra Markham and Kelly McAnnaney

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 01, 2011
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: Mathew B. Brady Studio Portrait Photograph Collection
Dates: 1856-1869 (Bulk 1861-1869)
Abstract: Studio proofs of Imperial format and carte-de-visite format portraits taken by the Mathew B. Brady Studio in New York City.
Quantity: 6.5 Linear feet (12 boxes)
Location note: Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections
Call Phrase: PR 85

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Biographical Note

Mathew B. Brady, the best-known American photographer of his generation, operated portrait studios in New York from 1844 to 1875. Brady began his career as a daguerreotypist. He was located at 205-207 Broadway (at Fulton Street) from 1844 until 1858, ran a second New York studio at 359 Broadway (between White and Franklin Streets) from 1853 through 1860, and a third studio at 643 Broadway (at Bleecker Street) from 1859 to 1860. All New York operations were consolidated in the fall of 1860 in Brady's fourth and final studio, named the "National Portrait Gallery," located at 785 Broadway (at Tenth Street). Brady generally did not take the photographs himself, but employed teams of uncredited camera operators, processors, and colorists in each of his studios who produced the actual images for which he is famous. Brady also operated portrait studios in Washington, D.C., and is known for the hundreds of photographs taken during the American Civil War by other photographers that were issued by the Brady Studio.

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Scope and Content Note

The Mathew B. Brady Studio Portrait Photograph Collection contains approximately 6,000 proof portraits of men, women, and children who were photographed in Brady's New York studios between the mid-1850s and the late 1860s. The portraits in this collection were those kept by the studio as a visual patron record, and are nearly all labeled with the last name of the sitter or sitters. The prints are unmounted and were formerly housed in albums.

For more detailed information about this collection, see the article by Sandra Markham, "Figments of a Mighty Past: Mathew Brady Portrait Photographs at the New-York Historical Society," in The New-York Journal of American History, volume 65, number 1, Spring 2003, pages 80-102.

Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:

  1. Series I. Imperial format portraits
  2. Series II. Carte-de-visite format portraits
  3. Oversize material from Series I

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Albumen prints
  • Salted paper prints

Subject Organizations

  • Mathew B. Brady Studio

Subject Topics

  • Upper class -- New York (State) -- New York -- Portraits

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs

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Administrative Information

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: Mathew B. Brady Studio Portrait Photograph Collection, PR 85, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society

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

For related material, see additional work by the Brady Studio in the Print Room's Album file (PR-002), Carte-de-Visite File (PR-011), Cased Photograph File (PR-012), Portrait File (PR-052), Imperial Portrait Photograph File (PR-210), Civil War Photograph File (PR-164), and Meserve Historical Portraits (PR-231). Additional portraits of people in this file might also be found in those collections.

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Container List

Series I: Imperial Format Portraits

Scope and Contents note

Series I contains 580 salted paper and albumen prints made from Imperial format negatives taken between the mid-1850s and the early 1860s. They are portrait fragments, primarily heads and half-length views either cropped from full portraits or printed on scraps of partially sensitized photographic paper; a very few full-length portraits are included. The prints range in size from 2 by 3 inches to 16 by 12 inches. The names of the sitters are inscribed on many of the photographs in the lightest section, usually a shirtfront, forehead, or picture margin. Identified people in Series I include prominent New York politicians, judges, and civic leaders, internationally known American and foreign businessmen and clergymen, leading cultural figures, and foreign diplomats. There are twenty-two portraits of children in this format.

The portraits are arranged alphabetically by sitter name; fifty of the sitters have no identification and are grouped together by gender, with children filed separately. Several of these portraits have variant spellings, illegible writing or variant names written on a single image. In those cases, the portrait is alphabetized by a selected name and both names/spellings are shown in the portrait list. Numbers following names indicate multiple photographs of either an individual or of images of several sitters with the same surname.

A third format in the collection is the "oversized carte-de-visite." There are fourteen portraits and one landscape in this format, each measuring approximately 3.75 x 5.5 inches. These portraits are housed in Box 3, after the Imperial Format Portraits.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Adams, William, Rev.
Albro
Alexander
Allen
Ames
Appleton
Arnold, D. H.
Ashby
Ashman
Augur, Christopher, Gen.
Austin, Edward
Avery

Box: 1 Folder : 2 Bacon, H. D.
Bancroft, George
Barnard, Frederick
Barnard, John G.
Barnes
Barry, E. P., Mrs.
Battee
Beach, Alfred, Rev.
Bell
Belly (2)
Beninger
Bigelow, John
Bird
Bishop
Black, Jeremiah S.
Blackstock (2)
Blair, Montgomery
Boatwright
Borie
Bosworth, Joseph
Bowen
Bowie
Bowlin
Boyd
Brewster
Brickett
Briggs
Bright
Bright, Jesse
Brook, R. L.
Bruce
Buckley, Andrew
Bush
Butler
Butterfield, Daniel
Butterworth

Box: 1 Folder : 3 Callaghan
Calwell
Cammann, George
Camp
Canevaro
Canfield
Carrey / Carry
Carry, W. F., Mrs.
Carter
Chambers
Chauncey, Henry
Churchill children
Cisco
Clapp
Clark
Clark, Davis W.
Clarkson
Clinton
Cobb
Cock
Codman
Coe / Cox
Coffin
Cogswell
Colden / Calden
Collet
Collins
Conklin
Converse
Cooke
Cookman, Alfred
Cooper
Cornell, A., Mrs.
Couct

Box: 1 Folder : 4 Craighead, James
Cranston
Creighton, William
Cristy
Cromwell, Henry B.
Crooken
Crosby
Cross
Croswell, Edwin
Crowell
Cruger
Cummings
Cunard, Edward
Curry, Daniel
Curtis, Mrs.
Cutting
Cutting, Francis B.

Box: 1 Folder : 5 Dabney
Dale
Davis
Davis, David
De Corvel
De Janin, Madame (2)
Deane / Dean
De Koon
De Osma
De Rham
De Rham, Charles
Delane, John T.
Delam. . .
Delmonico, Lorenzo
De Peyster, [Frederick?] (2)
Derby
Desplaces

Box: 1 Folder : 6 Dickinson, Daniel Stevens
Dillan, Mrs.
Dillon, Robert J.
Disoway, Cornelius
Dittmarsh
Dodge, William Earle
Doft, Mrs.
Donaldson
Donnell / Conley
Douglass
Douglass, Edward
Dripol
Dudly
Duesnard
Duffie, Cornelius, Jr.
Duncan
Duncan, Henry, Mrs.
Dwight, William, Col. (2)
Dwight, William, Mrs.
Dyer
Dymes, Mrs. / Byers

Box: 1 Folder : 7 Elder, Dr.
Elliot / Eliot
Elliott (mother and child) (2)
Everett (2)
Everett, Edward

Box: 1 Folder : 8 Fahnestock
Farley
Ferrar (3) -different sitters
Field, David Dudley
Field, Cyrus West (2)
Fields, James T.
Fields, Annie A.
Filmore
Fish, Hamilton
Fisher
Fitzgerald
Flagg
Flewallen
Floyd, John B.
Fogarty
Follet / Follett
Forney, John (3)
Foster
Frazer, R. E.
Freeland (2)
Freeman
French
Frick
Fullerton

Box: 1 Folder : 9 Gardiner / Gardner
Gardner
 See also: Box 12, Folder 1
Gardner, L. [?]
Garrett
Gennoux [?]
Gentil
George (2)
Gilbert
Gills / Gibbs
Goldsmith
Goodheart
Gouraud
Graham
Graham, Charles K.
Green, D., Rev. (2)
Greene / Green
Grey, D. [?]
Grinnell, Henry
Grover

Box: 2 Folder : 10 Hadden
Haddock
Hagedorn
Hale, John Parker
Hall
Hall, W. R.
Halleck, Henry W.
Hallock, Gerard
Hamilton
Hamilton, Schuyler
Hammer
Hampton, Wade
Hard [?]
Harris
Harris, Townsend
Harrison
Harrison, Allen
Hart
Hasbreuck
Hasbrouck
Hawkins, Rush C.
Hawks, Cicero S., Bishop
Heckscher
Heidon
Hidden
Hidden, Henry B.
Higby, D.
Hoffman, C. A., Mrs.
Hopkins
Horn
Hotchkiss
Howard, Joseph, Jr.
Howell
Hubbard, Rev. Dr.
Hull
Hutchinson
Hutton, Mancius S. (2)
Hyatt, Thaddeus

Box: 2 Folder : 11 Ingraham, Daniel
Ives
Ivson
James, George P. R.
Jerome (2)
Jones
Jones, George

Box: 2 Folder : 12 Kane, John Grenville
Kane, Thomas Leiper
Kellock
Kelsey
Kernochan
Kerrin
Keyser
Kidder
King
Kingman
Kingsland, Ambrose
Kip, William I.
Kirkland
Kitchen
Knapp, Shepherd
Kneeland
Knowles / Knowls
Kutter

Box: 2 Folder : 13 Lambert
Lamson
Lander, Frederick W. (2)
Lathrop, P. P.
Laurie
Lawrence
Leavitt
Leavitt, David
Lee
Lenox
Leyman (?)
Lindsey Blues Corps (5)
Livingston
Lockwood
Lord
Lord, Daniel
Lumon
Lurman / Lawrence

Box: 2 Folder : 14 McAulay, Mrs.
McCall
McClellan, Ellen
McCormack
McGehee
McIntosh
McKeon
Mackay, Charles
Magill, Edward H.
Malloy / Mallory
Marble, Manton
Marsh, George
Marsh, Luther
Mason (2)
Mathews, James M., Rev. Dr.
Mathieson
Matthews
Mead
Merchant
Meredith, William
Millett / Millet
Milligan
Mills
Minturn

Box: 2 Folder : 15 Moller
Monell
Monod, Frederic J.
Montgomery
Montieth
Morehead, George
Morgan
Morgan, William F.
Morris, George Pope
Morris, George Upham
Morrison
Morton
Moses
Murell
Murray / Musey, B.
Musard, Alfred
Myers
Myers, Mrs.

Box: 2 Folder : 16 Napier, Anne
 See: Box 12, Folder 1
Napier, Francis
Napier children
Narvaro
Navaro children
Nash
Nathan
Nelson
Newbould
Niles
Noble, Fitz G.
North
Nugent
O'Conor, Charles
Ogden
Ogilby, Frederick
Onderdonk, Benjamin Tredwell
Orr, James L.

Box: 2 Folder : 17 Paine, John
Palmer, Erastus D.
Parke
Parker, Eli Samuel
Paush
Parish / Paush
Peabody
Peale, Rembrandt
Pearson
Peck
Pendelton
Perry, Matthew C.
Phalon
Phelps
Phelps, Royal
Pierce, Franklin
Pillsbury, Amos
Poisell
Pollock
Poole, W.
Porter, William David
Potter, Robert B.
Powell
Pritchard
Pruyn

Box: 3 Folder : 18 Raime / Raine
Randall, Samuel
Ranson
Ray
Read
Remsen
Remsen, Henry
Rice
Richardson
Riggs
Rives
Roath
Roberts, Joseph J.
Ross, W.
Rowen, Colonel
Rowland
Ruggles
Ruggles, S. D., Miss
Runney
Russell, Abraham
Russell, Lord
Ryder / Rider

Box: 3 Folder : 19 Sands
Sargent
Sartiges, Etienne-Gilbert-Eugene, Compte de
Satterlee, Mrs.
Satterlee, Richard Smith
Saunders
Saxe, John G.
Scharchtel
Schott
Scott
Searles
Seymour
Seymour, Horatio
Shin
Sibley, Henry Hastings
Sickles, Daniel E.
Sigel, Franz
Simpson, Matthew
Sims / Simes
Sizer
Skiddy, Francis
Skiddy, Miss

Box: 3 Folder : 20 Smith
Smith, Henry
Spencer / Spenser
 See also: Box 12, Folder 2
Spring, Gardiner
Stanly, Edward
Starr, Father
Stebbins, Henry G.
Steinway, Henry, Jr.
Steinway, Juliane
Still
Stoeckl, Edouard
 See: Box 12, Folder 2
Storms
Stout
Stover, H. P.
Strang
Sumner, Charles (2)
Swan (father and daughter)
Swift

Box: 3 Folder : 21 Taylor
 See also: Box 12, Folder 3
Thayer
Thayer, G. (2)
Thomas
Thompson
Thomson
Tileston, Thomas
Tilghman
Tobin, Thomas, Sir
 See also: Box 12, Folder 3
Toucey, Isaac
Townsend, [Frederick ?]
Treadwell (2)
Tredwell
Tuckerman
Tuckerman, Charles
Turnure, David

Box: 3 Folder : 22 Ullmann, Daniel
Underhill
Underhill, Mrs.
Van Buren, John
Van Buren, William (2)
Van Dyck
Van Post
Van Rensselaer
Van Rensselaer, Henry Bell
Van Wyck
Van Zandt
Vanderbilt, C. R.
Vanderpoel, Aaron
Vibbard, Chauncey

Box: 3 Folder : 23 Waddell, Charlotte
Waldon
Wallace, William V.
Wallack, Emily M.
Walter, Thomas U.
Waterman
Waugh, Beverly
Wells
 See: Box 12, Folder 4
Welsman
Weston, Sullivan H.
Wetmore
Whedon, Daniel D.
White, C.
Whitney
Williams, Laurence
Willis, Miss
Winans, Ross
Woodbridge, J. E.
Young
Young, J. B.
 See: Box 12, Folder 4
Yznaga del Valle

Box: 3 Folder : 24 Unidentified Men, #1-13
Box: 3 Folder : 25 Unidentified Men, #14-26
Box: 3 Folder : 26 Unidentified Women, #28-41

General note

See also: Box 12, Folder 5

Box: 3 Folder : 27 Unidentified Children
Box: 3 Folder : 28 Photo Fragments / Body Parts
Box: 3 Folder : 29 Oversize Carte-de-Visite Format Portraits

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Series II: Carte-de-Visite Format Portraits

Scope and Contents note

Series II contains approximately 5,300 albumen portraits of men, women, children, and groups, made from carte-de-visite format negatives. They date between 1861 and 1869. The prints are in a uniform 3.25 by 2 inches size, and are arranged alphabetically by sitter name, when the written name is legible, with the many unnamed portraits arranged separately. The sitters in Series II are primarily upper-middle class New York City residents and visitors to the city. The collection is nearly evenly divided between portraits of men and women, including four portraits of African Americans. Two women, one labeled Harris/Paris and one Johnson, and one man also labeled Johnson, are photographed individually. A portrait of a Mr. Price includes his attendant, an unnamed African American man, standing beside him.

Along with portraits of adults, the collection also contains over eight hundred images of children. This includes individual portraits as well as group portraits of children with their parents or siblings. Infants are usually shown on a parent's lap, with only the adult's hand, arm or chin visible. Often the children are dressed up for the occasion and are photographed with props such as books, toys or dolls.

Unknown sitters and groups are organized by gender, or when recognized, by subject. There are also images of copy work and proofs of published work in this series as well.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 4 Folder : A - Boy
Box: 5 Folder : Bra - Cli
Box: 6 Folder : Cob - Fly
Box: 7 Folder : Fog - J
Box: 8 Folder : K - N
Box: 9 Folder : O - Spr
Box: 10 Folder : Squ - W
Box: 11 Folder : X - Z
Box: 11 Folder : Groups - Men
Box: 11 Folder : Groups - Women
Box: 11 Folder : Groups - Men and Women
Box: 11 Folder : Children with Adults
Box: 11 Folder : Children in Groups
Box: 11 Folder : People with Animals / Portraits of Animals
Box: 11 Folder : Men - No name / Indecipherable
Box: 11 Folder : Women - No name / Indecipherable
Box: 11 Folder : Children - No name / Indecipherable
Box: 11 Folder : Nuns
Box: 11 Folder : Theatrical Portraits
Box: 11 Folder : Non-Portraits
Box: 11 Folder : Copy Work
Box: 11 Folder : Proof of Published Work
Box: 11 Folder : Photo Fragments / Body Parts

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Oversize Material from Series I. Imperial Format Portraits

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 12 Folder : 30 Gardner
Box: 12 Folder : 30 Napier, Anne
Box: 12 Folder : 31 Spencer / Spenser
Box: 12 Folder : 31 Stoeckl, Edouard
Box: 12 Folder : 32 Taylor
Box: 12 Folder : 32 Tobin, Thomas, Sir
Box: 12 Folder : 33 Wells
Box: 12 Folder : 33 Young, J. B.
Box: 12 Folder : 34 Unidentified

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