“Little Ethiopians:” 19th Century Photography of African Americans
“Little Ethiopians:” 19th Century Photography of African Americans
February 4, 2015

To kick off Black History Month, here is a cabinet card that has fascinated me ever since I stumbled across it in our Portrait File. Titled “Little Ethiopians,” it’s a composite of 21 portraits of African-American babies. The cabinet card was issued by Smith’s Studio of Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and bears an 1881 copyright…

Read More
Doris Ulmann’s Portraits: “The Marks of Living Intensely”
Doris Ulmann’s Portraits: “The Marks of Living Intensely”
February 5, 2014

In honor of the death of Pete Seeger last week, this week’s blog will highlight the work of another champion of American folk music and crafts: the photographer Doris Ulmann (1882-1934). Like Seeger, Ulmann was born in Manhattan, and seemed an unlikely candidate to work in the rural South. The eldest daughter of a prosperous…

Read More
“A Real Santa:” the portrait photography of Theron W. Kilmer
“A Real Santa:” the portrait photography of Theron W. Kilmer
December 24, 2013

Long before SantaCon, Theron W. Kilmer found — and photographed — “A Real Santa” in New York City. Although largely forgotten now, in his own time Theron W. Kilmer was aptly described as “an amazing person.”   He was a distinguished physician, an associate professor of pediatrics, a writer, a lecturer, an honorary police chief,…

Read More
African Americans and the World of Tomorrow
African Americans and the World of Tomorrow
November 18, 2011

Post written by Kenneth Cleary, a summer intern at N-YHS who processed the Paul Gillespie Collection of New York World’s Fair Materials. A rich collection of photographs from the 1939-40 New York World’s Fair is newly available to researchers at the N-YHS library. Donated to N-YHS in May of this year, the Paul Gillespie Collection…

Read More