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Guide to the William Grabowski Photographs
1980s, 2004-2020
 PR 321

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


New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Marybeth Kavanagh (2016), Larry Weimer (2018-21)

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 03, 2021
Finding aid is in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series I: Manhattan, 1985-1988, 2005-2020 (bulk, 2014-2020)

Scope and Contents

The series holds about 526 photographs taken in the New York City borough of Manhattan. About 160 of these photographs are of the Times Square and Theater District area. These images primarily include the theater's marquees and street performers/character actors in the area, but also include the buildings, signs, vendors, and other scenes representative of Times Square in these years (2014-2020).

Manhattan's built environment dominates the photographs. In addition to the Times Square/theaters, photographs focus on either particular buildings (e.g., churches, museums, corporate towers) or take a broader, skyline view. About 70 photographs move away from the borough's more imposing structures to include parks (mostly Central Park), memorials, statues, and a set of photographs from the far west side of Greenwich Village.

Street art/graffiti/murals appear in the series, in about 60 photographs. 14 of these are of the Audubon Mural Project in Harlem. Some events are represented in the series with a few photographs each, including Christo's installation of "The Gates" in Central Park (2005), Pope Francis's appearance in Central Park (2015), the Women's March (2017), and a Pride March (2017). The two earliest photographs in the collection, from 1985 and 1988, are in the events category; these are scenes from the Jacques d'Amboise Event of the Year at the National Dance Institute.

The container list provides a more detailed summary for each folder.

Arrangement

The series is arranged alphabetically by general subject matter, then chronologically within subject. The number of photographs in each folder is noted in parentheses in the container list.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Art. Street Art / Graffiti / Murals (5)

Scope and Contents

Chelsea, Chinatown.

2011-2014
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Art. Street Art / Graffiti / Murals (10)

Scope and Contents

From the Bowery, Greenwich Village,and Lower East Side.

2017
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Art. Audubon Mural Project (14)
2017
Box: 7 Folder : 9-10 Art. Street Art / Graffiti / Murals (26)

Scope and Contents

From upper Manhattan, Harlem, Midtown, subway walls, Soho, Greenwich Village, and lower Manhattan.

2019
Box: 7 Folder : 11 Art. Street Art / Graffiti / Murals. City as School High School (5)
2019
Box: 6 Folder : 5 Bohemian National Hall (4)

Scope and Contents

One exterior, three interiors

2018 March
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Buildings. Various (18)

Scope and Contents

Chrysler Building (at night), Citicorp, Freedom Tower, American Geographical Society, Federal Hall, New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, Friars Club, Columbus Circle, Bohemian National Hall, Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory, Chelsea Piers, Brookfield Place, Empire State Building (at dusk, with holiday lights), Grand Central Terminal, and other views.

2017
Box: 6 Folder : 8 Buildings. Various (14)

Scope and Contents

2018: Overpass to Grand Central Terminal at Pershing Square (2018, 2020, firefighters at 5th Avenue building after a steam explosion, New York City Visitors Center (exterior), Brill Building (exterior), Copacabana and storefronts, Edison Ballroom marquee and building above, Radio City Music Hall marquee, Salmagundi Club interior and exterior, billboard for Santa Margherita prosecco at the Midtown Tunnel. 2020: New York Public Library, 42nd Street entrance; Jadite Galleries; Trump International Hotel.

2018, 2020
Box: 7 Folder : 12 Buildings. Various (13)

Scope and Contents

Includes Salmagundi Club (1 exterior, 2 interior); St. Regis; Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics (2); Chrysler Building; Trump complex and Riverside Boulevard in upper Manhattan; Gatsby Hotel; New York University Steinhardt Building; Plaza Hotel; Steinway Tower under construction; Trump Park Avenue entrance.

2019
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Buildings. Churches (8)

Scope and Contents

Holy Name of Jesus, Heavenly Rest, St. Bartholomew Episcopal, Trinity, St. Paul's Chapel, Church of the Intercession, St. Luke Lutheran, Church of Scientology.

2017
Box: 7 Folder : 15 Buildings. Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, and Farley Post Office/Penn Station Annex (6)

Scope and Contents

Farley Post Office exterior, with Penn Station Annex at right (1), interior main level (1) and lower level (1), steps up from subway platforms (1), Madison Square Garden entrances at 7th Avenue (2).

2019
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Events (17)

Scope and Contents

2 photos from circa 1985 and circa 1988: Jacques d'Amboise Event of the Year, National Dance Institute. Others: Pope and crowds at Central Park (the three images of the Pope event were created by Grabowski with Alexa Ruffino); scenes of city after blizzard of 2016; Christo's "The Gates" in Central Park (2005).

1985-1988; 2005-2016
Box: 7 Folder : 14 Hudson Yards (4)

Scope and Contents

Includes one of The Vessel, 2 of the waterfront, and one of the "Edge" from below.

2019
Box: 8 Lower Manhattan (7)

Scope and Contents

Includes Brookfield Place (5), including ice rink, North Cover Marina, and atrium with palm trees; One World Trade Center; and view from promenade across Hudson River to Jersey City.

2020
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Marches / Parades (10)

Scope and Contents

Women's March on Fifth Avenue, 21 January 2017 (2). Pride March, 25 June 2017 (7). Wage theft/anti-Governor Cuomo protest (February 2020).

2017, 2020
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Monuments and Statues (5)

Scope and Contents

American Merchant Mariners; Korean War; Washington Square Arch.

2014-2016
Box: 7 Folder : 14 Monuments and Statues (7)

Scope and Contents

Includes 7th Regiment (in Central Park), Washington Square Arch, Duffy Square statue, and Battery Park area: Castle Clinton, Pier 1, Merchant Marine, and Korean War Memorial.

2019
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Museums (16)

Scope and Contents

Whitney; view of Hoboken from Whitney; Ellis Island (exterior, interiors, tile details, etc.); Metropolitan Museum of Art; Cloisters; Cooper Union Museum; New-York Historical Society; Salmagundi Club; Discovery Times Square (Star Wars exhibits).

2004-2016
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Museums and Galleries (9)

Scope and Contents

New-York Historical Society front (3) and lamp post signage for Kalinsky/Muhammad Ali exhibition. National Academy Museum, "Museum Mile" street sign, Metropolitan Museum of Art front entrance, Neue Galerie banner.

2017
Box: 7 Folder : 12 Museums (1)

Scope and Contents

American Museum of Natural History 77th street entrance

2019
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Parks and Gardens (14)

Scope and Contents

Central Park, "Imagine" memorial, fireworks, Great Lawn concert crowd, horse-drawn carriage, etc. (including two color infrared photos); Washington Square Park; High Line.

2006-2015
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Parks and Memorials (9)

Scope and Contents

National September 11 Memorial fountain (2). High Line at West 20th street (1). Roosevelt Island (6): Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, smallpox hospital, Strecker Memorial Laboratory.

2017
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Parks. Central Park (12)

Scope and Contents

Performer creating giant bubbles, John Purroy Mitchel memorial, Reservoir with east view/skyline, Bow Bridge, Bridge 24, Bridge 28, Tavern on the Green entrance, horse drawn carriage, "Imagine" memorial at Strawberry Fields, Lake with west side skyline, Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.

2017
Box: 6 Folder : 7 Parks (6)

Scope and Contents

One of Bryant Park, rest of Central Park: hansom cab, musicians performing, 7th Regiment Memorial, Giuseppe Mazzini Memorial, Tavern on the Green entrance.

2018
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Restaurants (10)

Scope and Contents

Tavern on the Green (interiors, exteriors, barricaded after it closed in, 2009); Bobby Van's; Hard Rock Cafe; Sardi's.

2009-2016
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Schools and Colleges (1)

Scope and Contents

New York University Rubin Residence Hall

2015
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Skyline (14)

Scope and Contents

Primarily view of Manhattan skyline from various angles. Some focus on particular structures, including Empire State Building and 423 Park Avenue. Also includes Jersey City/Ellis Island view, view across Calvary Cemetery, view into Central Park.

2009-2016
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Skyline (9)

Scope and Contents

Photographs taken from across the East River, featuring the mid and upper east side of Manhattan, including United Nations, Presbyterian Weill Cornell, Rockefeller University, and a Circle Line ship on the East River with Citicorp and other buildings in background.

2017
Box: 7 Folder : 12 Skyline (3)

Scope and Contents

Midtown (Chrysler building and north) skyline (from the east)

2019
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Street Performers (15)

Scope and Contents

Times Square (Naked Cowboy, Naked Cowgirl, "painted ladies," Mickey Mouse and other characters, Statue of Liberty mimes); Washington Square Park dancers; Central Park musician in costume.

2014-2015
Box: 7 Folder : 15 Street Performers (1)

Scope and Contents

Performers dressed as Statue of Liberty being photographed with costumed visitor.

2019
Box: 1 Folder : 10.1-10.2 Street Views - General (22)

Scope and Contents

Views of streets (and some street life) and buildings from street level: Freedom Tower, Cupcake ATM, street vendors, Flatiron Building, Christie's, street sign for 6-1/2 Avenue, Brookfield Place, Battery Park City, Greenwich Village townhouse, FDR Drive, Chelsea Pier, Columbus Circle, others.

2005-2016
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Street Views- Holiday Decorations (5)

Scope and Contents

Rockefeller Center, Macy's, others.

2015
Box: 1 Folder : 13.1-13.2 Theaters. Various (34)

Scope and Contents

Marquees: Radio City, Cort ("Bright Star"), August Wilson ("Jersey Boys"), Schubert ("Matilda"), Ed Sullivan ("Late Show with Stephen Colbert"), Winter Garden ("School of Rock"), Ambassador ("Chicago"), Walter Kerr ("Crucible"), Lunt-Fontanne ("Finding Neverland"), Palace ("An American in Paris"), Minskoff ("Lion King"), St. James ("Something Rotten"), Richard Rodgers ("Hamilton"), Majestic (Phantom of the Opera"), Helen Hayes ("The Humans"). Interiors: Majestic, O'Neill, Carnegie Hall, David Koch Theater, "Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center. 42nd Street view. Lincoln Center Plaza. "Solar Reserve" artwork at Lincoln Center. Oother signage.

2014-2016
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Theaters. Lincoln Center (12)

Scope and Contents

Entrances/signage to Tisch WNET Studios, David Geffen Hall, and Alice Tully Hall. Interior views of David Koch Theater. Cast of "Firebird on stage. Curtain call and finale of "Nutcracker."

2017
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Times Square (13)

Scope and Contents

Duffy Square, TKTS, vendors, signage, One Times Square Building, Hershey's store, others.

2014-2015
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Theater District and Times Square (11)

Scope and Contents

Marquees: Music Box ("Dear Evan Hansen"), Minskoff ("Lion King"), Booth. Times Square Disney store, Hershey store, buildings, signs, Duffy Square, street performers in costume, "painted ladies."

2017 July
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Theater District and Times Square (19)

Scope and Contents

Marquees: Schubert ("Hello Dolly," with Bette Midler), Broadhurst ("Anastasia"), Lunt-Fontanne ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), Majestic ("Phantom of the Opera"), Imperial ("Carousel"), Schoenfeld ("Come From Away"), Booth ("Meteor Shower"). Birdland entrance, Sardi's restaurant (1 interior with autographed caricatures on wall, 1 exterior); Statue of Liberty made of Lego blocks, building mural, Times Square signs, street performers in character costumes, "painted ladies," homeless man sleeping on sidewalk, street vendor/hats.

2017 September
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Theater District and Times Square (8)

Scope and Contents

Marquees: Lunt Fontanne ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), Barrymore ("The Band's Visit"), Brooks Atkinson ("Waitress"), Richard Rodgers ("Hamilton"), Booth ("Meteor Shower"), Schoenfeld ("Come From Away"), Don't Tell Mama piano bar. Marriott Marquis exterior elevators.

2017 November
Box: 6 Folder : 9 Times Square (20)

Scope and Contents

The photographs in this folder are principally of people in Times Square: street performers (dancers, musicians), vendors, panhandlers, costumed performers (Statue of Liberty, Pikachu, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Hulk), "Naked Cowboy," "Naked Cowgirl," caricature artist, China political protesters at TKTS booth, man carrying "Shine for Jesus" sign.

2018 June
Box: 6 Folder : 10 Theater District and Times Square (16)

Scope and Contents

Marquees: St. James ("Frozen"), Shubert ("Hello Dolly" with Bernadette Peters), Imperial ("Carousel"), Barrymore ("The Band's Visit"), Manhattan Theatre Club ("Saint Joan"), Brooks Atkinson ("Waitress"), Longacre ("A Bronx Tale"), Ambassador ("Chicago"), Eugene O'Neill ("The Book of Mormon"), Ed Sullivan ("The Late Show with Stephen Colbert"), Lunt-Fontanne ("Summer: The Donna Summer Musical"), Lyceum ("The Play That Goes Wrong"). Interiors: St. James, Imperial. Wide angle view of West 45th Street with Booth ("Boys in the Band"), Schoenfeld ("Come From Away"), and other theaters.

2018 June
Box: 6 Folder : 11 Theater District and Times Square (16)

Scope and Contents

Times Square signage for theaters, etc.; Duffy Square steps/bleachers (from various angles); street signage for Broadway and George Abbott Way intersection with security camera; Sardi's restaurant (exterior and interior); views from the elevator and upper floor restaurant of the Marriott Marquis (9).

2018 June
Box: 7 Folder : 13 Theaters and Theater District (12)

Scope and Contents

Marquees:Apollo, CBS Broadcast Center, Ziegfeld, Richard Rodgers ("Hamilton"), Cort ("Secret"), New York City Ballet. Interior of Shoenfeld and cast ("Come From Away") (3). Audience and set of "The View" (2). Stage performance at Radio City Music Hall of Ben Platt.

2019
Box: 6 Folder : 12 Theaters and Theater District (2)

Scope and Contents

42nd Street marquees and signage; Playwrights Horizons theater

2020
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Transportation (9)

Scope and Contents

2016 (5): Taxi (interior), Penn Station (entrance, hallway, LIRR ticket booth), Circle Line boat (detail). 2017 (4): a Citibike stand, bus in Chinatown with advertising aimed at people of Asian heritage for Bally's casino in Atlantic City, doubledecker tour buses.

2016-2017
Box: 7 Folder : 15 Transportation (5)

Scope and Contents

Includes cars on Henry Hudson Parkway, Citibikes (parked), horse drawn carriages (2), doubledecker sightseeing bus.

2019
Box: 6 Folder : 6 Upper West Side (10)

Scope and Contents

Veterans Day Parade (2), Central Park West food cart vendors (2), signage for New-York Historical Society's "Harry Potter" exhibition and "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" Broadway play (2), Theodore Roosevelt equestrian statue and holiday dinosaurs at front of American Museum of Natural History (3), fall decorations at townhouse entrance (1).

2018 November
Box: 3 Folder : 14 West Greenwich Village (14)

Scope and Contents

Washington Square Arch (one daytime image and two night images, the latter including artist Ai WeiWei's "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors" temporary public art installation), Alexander Holley sculpture, Greenwich House entrance, Stonewall National Monument, General Sheridan statue, Duplex cabaret (exterior), St. Veronica Church, Big Gay ice cream shop, Hudson River Park, entrance to Christopher street PATH station, Northern Dispensary.

2017

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