MCNY Blog: New York Stories

Iconic photos of a changing city, and commentary on our Collections & Exhibitions from the crew at MCNY.org

Category Archives: Portrait Archive

Frequently Asked Questions for Rights & Reproductions

We receive many inquiries at the Museum of the City of New York regarding rights and reproductions for objects in our collections. Below are some frequently asked questions and responses. … Continue reading

May 2, 2017 · 4 Comments

Minnie Fisher, Immigrant and Labor Activist

The Museum completed processing our Pamphlet Collection over the past summer and shared the finding aid online with funds from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and has now completed item … Continue reading

February 21, 2017 · 1 Comment

Young Chuck Connors, Mayor of Chinatown

“Mayor of Chinatown” Chuck Connors enthralled New Yorkers around the turn of the century with tall tales and colorful language describing the ethnic neighborhood he inhabited. Connors claimed to have … Continue reading

May 24, 2016 · 1 Comment

How a Colonial Relic Became a Civil War Memento: Tracing Object History in the Silver Collection

Over the course of digitizing the Museum’s silver collection, we’ve come across many objects with storied histories, but not many can weave a historical path through our collection with the … Continue reading

March 30, 2016 · Leave a comment

Napoleon Sarony: Celebrity Photographer

  Before paparazzi and the celebrity media we all live with today, there were 19th century photographers, like Napoleon Sarony (1821-1896), who became internationally renowned for their celebrity portraits. Born in Québec, Sarony began his … Continue reading

April 28, 2015 · 2 Comments

Rufus King: Early New York, lawyer, diplomat and statesman

If you have found yourself wandering around the neighborhood of Jamaica, Queens, anytime in the last two centuries, you’ve possibly happened upon a farmhouse, situated between 89th Avenue, 150th street, … Continue reading

April 21, 2015 · 3 Comments

Revolutionary sisters: Victoria Woodhull and Tennessee Claflin

If you’ve never heard of Victoria Woodhull or her younger sister Tennessee “Tennie” Claflin, you’re not alone. When I first came across them in the Museum’s Portrait Archive, I was … Continue reading

June 24, 2014 · 6 Comments

Happy 25th Birthday to the Internet

Last week the Internet turned a quarter of a century old.  On March 12, 1989, a British computer scientist named Sir Tim Berners-Lee proposed what he called an “information management” … Continue reading

March 18, 2014 · Leave a comment

Power, corruption, and Tammany Hall: sketches of lesser known New York City mayors, 1869-1913

Today the 109th mayor of New York City will be elected. In honor of this occasion, we delved into our portrait archive to find some of the most fascinating mayors … Continue reading

November 5, 2013 · 4 Comments

Vanderbilt Ball – how a costume ball changed New York elite society

In the spring of 1883, the solemnity of Lent didn’t stand a chance against the social event on the mind of all of New York’s elite society:  Mrs. W. K. … Continue reading

August 6, 2013 · 24 Comments

Mora – Photographer of the Rich and Famous

What do rich Gilded Age socialites, stuffed bears, and elaborate costumes have in common? They’re all features in these very atypical Gilded Age portraits. As I was cataloging the Museum’s … Continue reading

July 9, 2013 · 4 Comments

The “Forgotten” Father of Greater New York: Andrew Haswell Green

November 13, 1903. An 83 year old man leaves his office at 214 Broadway and gets on the Fourth Avenue street car by City Hall to join his nieces for … Continue reading

April 30, 2013 · 16 Comments

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