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© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Editta Sherman Photographs
1940-1995 (bulk, undated)
 PR 322

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 and Anne Boissonnault

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on February 16, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical/Historical Note

Editta Sherman (1912-2013) was born in Philadelphia, the eldest child of Nunzio and Piernia Rinaolo, two recent Italian immigrants to the United States. Editta’s father was a wedding and portrait photographer and she learned the trade from him during her youth. In 1935, she married Harold Sherman and would have five children with him. In the early years of their marriage, the Shermans lived in various places, including Martha’s Vineyard where, in 1944, Editta opened a studio with her husband, who found the sitters and handled business matters.

In the mid-1940s, the Shermans moved to New York City. In 1949 they moved into one of the apartments above Carnegie Hall, taking up residence on the top floor in Studio 1208, which also served as Editta's photography studio. Formerly, the studio had been the center one of three apartments occupied by the sculptor Walter Russell. Although constantly worried about food and lodging, the Shermans were able to hold things together at the Carnegie Hall studio, though in the early 1950s they found a healthier environment out of the city for the children, with the hope of bringing the entire family back together when finances permitted. Harold died of diabetes in 1954, and Editta’s work continued with an expanding celebrity clientele. Renowned as the “Duchess of Carnegie Hall,” Sherman lived in Studio 1208 for 61 years until 2010 when, along with other residents, she was forced out by the Carnegie Hall Corporation, which sought to repurpose the apartments.

(The above note is based primarily on the New York Times obituary of 5 November 2013. Other sources include the Editta Sherman website and the introductory panel for the exhibition of Sherman's work held at N-YHS in 2017.)