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Guide to the Ron Galella Photographs and Publicity Material
1939, 1964-2016
 PR 411

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on January 31, 2020
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Galella, Ron
Title: Ron Galella photographs and publicity material
Dates [inclusive]: 1939, circa 1964-2016
Abstract: The collection holds a small number of photographs of New York City scenes taken by Ron Galella (born 1931) and of the 1934-35 and 1964-65 World's Fairs printed by Galella from the collection of John Riccardelli. There is also a small amount of publicity material and a Time magazine article and documentary film on DVD about Galella and his work.
Quantity: .21 Linear feet in one document box
Call Phrase: PR 411

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Biographical / Historical

Photographer Ron Galella was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1931. He served as a United States Air Force photographer (1951-1955) during the Korean War and later attended the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, California, graduating with a degree in photojournalism in 1958. He began taking candid photographs of celebrities, eventually making it his specialty, becoming one of the leading edge of "papazazzi" photographers. Jackie Kennedy Onassis was perhaps his most famous subject, or target, depending on one's perspective as Galella's relentless approach often received a negative, even violent, response from those he photographed.

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes twelve photographs taken by Ron Galella. With the exception of a photo taken at a concert in New Jersey, all are scenes from New York City. All are black and white, except for a color composite made in response to the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. There are also nine photographs of the 1939-40 and 1964-65 printed by Galella from negatives held by the World's Fair collector John Riccardelli. All of the photos are signed by Galella. None of the photographs are of celebrities. The subjects of the photographs are noted more specifically in the container list. In addition to photographs, the collection holds some publicity material and a Time magazine article and documentary film on DVD about Galella and his work. The DVD, as a digital format, is restricted from use.


The collection is arranged by format.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • DVDs.

Subject Organizations

  • New York World's Fair [111] (1939-1940 : ) (New York, N.Y.) -- Photographs.

Subject Topics

  • Advertising
  • Operation Sail, 1976 -- Photographs.

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.) -- Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Available by advance appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the Print Room Librarian at

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Permission to reproduce any Department of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections 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. 282.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as the Ron Galella Photographs and Publicity Material, PR 411, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

Photographs by Ron Galella can also also be found in the following collections at New-York Historical:

Barry and Gloria Garfinkel collection of photographs (PR 382) holds 3 photographs of Jackie Kennedy Onassis taken by Galella.

Ari and Helene Bousbib collection of photographs (PR 384) holds several photographs of various celebrities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ron Galella, 2017.

Processing Information

Processed by archivist Larry Weimer, January 2020.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 World's Fair Photographs

Scope and Contents

7 black and white photographs of the 1939-40 World's Fair and 2 of the 1964-1965 Fair. Prints by Galella from negatives in the collection of John Riccardelli. 1939-40 photos are of: Empire State Building Finial, Italian Pavilion, Paul Manship sculpture of passing of time, and various views of the Trylon and Perisphere with Lagoon of Nations and George Washington statue. 1964-65 photos center on the Unisphere, one in close-up and the other from a higher elevation showing other pavilions and, in the distance, Shea Stadium.

1939, 1964?
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Photographs, 1960s

Scope and Contents

2 black and white photographs: Ocean Liner "Michelangelo" docked at Pier 90 (May 22, 1965) and chandeliers at Lincoln Center's Metropolitan Opera House (September 16, 1966).

1965, 1966
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Photographs, Operation Sail

Scope and Contents

4 black and white photographs of Operation Sail (also referred to as Operation Top Sail) in New York Harbor on the Bicentennial. Taken from on board the USS Forrestal.

1976 July 4
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Photographs, 1970s-1980s

Scope and Contents

5 black and white photographs: Bull mastiff looking out rear window of Cadillac Fleetwood on East 79th Street (May 15, 1970); aerial view of Flushing Meadows Park, site of 1939-40 and 1964-65 World's Fairs (September 18, 1974); Plaza Hotel fountain (1976); sculpture at Paramount Theater at Gulf and Western Building (November 20, 1976); and audience at the Amnesty International benefit concert at Giants Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands (June 15, 1986)

1970-1976, 1986
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Photographs, 1990s-2000s

Scope and Contents

1 color composite photograph titled "United We Stand" dated 2001, composed from a photo of the Statue of Liberty (August 2, 1999) and of the World Trade Center towers (September 9, 1990).

Box: 1 Folder : 6 Publicity Material

Scope and Contents

11 publicity pieces for Galella's books and the documentary film about him.

Box: 1 Folder : 7 Time Magazine (Vol. 188, No. 22-23)

Scope and Contents

Issue with cover article "The Most Influential Photos of All Time." Among these are Galella's October 1971 "Windblown Jackie," found on pages 86-87. Page with article is signed by Galella.

Box: 1 Folder : 8 DVD: "Smash His Camera"

Scope and Contents

Unopened, shrinkwrapped original copy of the DVD. This is restricted from use in order to ensure that the digital content is not accidentally corrupted.


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