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Guide to the New-York Historical Society
Theatrical Portrait Collection
circa 1800-1985 (bulk, 1850-1920)

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Rick Hunter, March 2003; migrated to ArchivesSpace by Joseph Ditta, May 2020.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 30, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: New-York Historical Society
Title: New-York Historical Society theatrical portrait collection
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1800-1985 (bulk, 1850-1920)
Abstract: The Theatrical Portrait Collection is an amalgam of portraits, mainly photographic, of an array of theatrical performers in a broad sense, encompassing performers from dance, vaudeville, opera, and music. Materials include various photographic techniques and formats, such as albumen prints, cabinet photographs, cartes de visite, and film stills, as well as clippings and illustrations. Principally represented are actors and actresses of the stage and, to a lesser extent, silent film, from the latter half of the nineteenth century through the first two decades of the twentieth century. These portraits provide a comprehensive pictorial record of this period in the history of the New York stage, with all the major performers represented in many of the roles and costumes that made them famous, including the Barrymores, the Booths, the Davenports, Augustin Daly's company, Lillie Langtry, Jenny Lind, and Lillian Russell, among many others. The file also includes photographs of theatrical productions, Gilbert and Sullivan, and silent film productions. A set of Capezio dance portraits provides a glimpse into the full array of performers in the mid-1940s from the worlds of ballet, theatre, and modern avant-garde dance. Also included are photographs taken of theatrical portraits distributed by the firm of Thomas Houseworth & Co.
Quantity: 43.24 Linear feet (in 47 boxes and 7 drawers of flat files)
Language: The language used in the collection is English.
Call Phrase: PR-104