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Guide to the Katja B. Goldman and Michael Sonnenfeldt Collection of Photographs
 PR 305

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Brynn White, June, 2014. Revised by Marybeth Kavanagh, 2019.

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on July 11, 2019 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

This collection of entertainment-themed photography and photojournalism includes publicity and on-set production coverage; portraits of theatre performers, movie stars, atheletes, politicans, and other 20th-century pop culture figures; and sports and cultural and political event photojournalism. The materials are arranged into six series.

Series I-III contain photographs donated by Katja B. Gaoldman and Michael Sonnenfeldt in 2013, and are arranged by subject.

Series I: New York Theatre, comprises a diverse range of early 20th-century publicity, production, and portrait photography. The materials span a dynamic period in New York's theater history: from the early development of the Broadway theatre district in Times Square, through the peak periods of creativity and output between the wars, to post-Depression maturity and evolution in dramatic and musical form. Images document the genres musical comedy, operetta, melodrama, farce, and the revue shows pioneered by Florence Ziegfeld. Many of Broadway history's notable performers, theaters, producers, and works appear alongside less documented and non-canonical productions and figures.

Series II: Hollywood Film, represents the American film industry's publicity output between 1920 and 1960, from the late silent period into what is generally regarded as the "Golden Era." In this period, the studios meticulously and rigorously controlled the image of their contracted stars, generating and distributing photographs to fans and publications. The work of the pioneer film portraitists depicted in the collection, including esteemed artist Clarence S. Bull of MGM, helped define careers and created a resonating iconography of Hollywood. Legendary and established stars appear in the collection alongside character actors, ingenues, and animal performers in a variety of studio shots and off-set candids.

Series III: Ken Regan and Camera 5 includes work from the five decade career of photojournalist Regan, who chiefly covered sports, pop culture, and current events for a variety of major publications. Regan's renowned discretion earned him intimate shooting access to many public figures, including the Kennedys and Rolling Stones, portraiture of whom appear in the collection alongside other performers, newscasters, athletes, politicians, and various celebrities. Other Regan work includes coverage of film and television production sets, sporting events, and political activist rallies, most of which are based in New York City. An unrelated subseries of photographs taken of memorials and exhibitions at Dachau, the former German concentration camp, appears at the end of the series.

Series IV through Series VI are comprised of subsequent donations by Michael Sonnenfeldt and Katja B. Goldman. They contain the work of photojournalists Philippe Halsman, Jill Freedman, Fred McDarrah and Ken Regan who each documented various aspects of American life and culture in the second half of the 20th century. Also within these series is the work of photographers and photo studios who specialized in theatrical portraits and publicity shots for Broadway productions, including the Friedman-Abeles Studio, Martha Swope and Swope Associates, and the Vandamm Studio. Series IV-VI are arranged chronologically by donation date, and the material within each series is arranged by creator:

Series IV: 2015 Accruals consists of material donated by Katja B. Goldman and Michael Sonnenfeldt in 2015. It includes photographs by Jill Freedman, Fred McDarrah, and Ken Regan and Camera 5.

Series V: 2016 Accruals consists of material donated by Katja B. Goldman and Michael Sonnenfeldt in 2016. It includes photographs by Friedman-Abeles, Philippe Halsman, Martha Swope, and Vandamm Studio.

Series VI: 2018 Accruals consists of material donated by Katja B. Goldman and Michael Sonnenfeldt in 2018. It includes photographs by Friedman-Abeles, Fred McDarrah, Ken Regan and Camera 5, Martha Swope, and Vandamm Studio. It also includes a group of portraits of actors taken by various photographers. Some of these photographers are identified on the verso, while some are unidentified.


The collection is organized into six series. The first three series comprise the material donated by Michael Sonnenfeldt in 2013. These three series are arranged according to theme:

I. New York Theatre

II. Hollywood Film

III. Ken Regan and Camera 5

Select materials in the first three series were laminated for retail through Jay Parrino's The Mint and are housed separately, as depicted in the container list.

Series IV through Series VI are comprised of subsequent donations by Michael Sonnenfeldt and Katja B. Goldman. These series are arranged chronologically:

Series IV: 2015 Accruals

Series V: 2016 Accruals

Series VI: 2018 Accruals

The material within these series is arranged by creator.