New-York Historical Society, Burr McIntosh photograph collection, 1898-1910

The Burr McIntosh Photograph Collection spans the period from 1898 to 1910 and documents McIntosh's work as a photographer of prominent figures in the arts, society, and politics, many of whom were his friends and acquaintances. Burr McIntosh (1862-1942) distinguished himself in many careers, including those of actor, reporter, publisher, lecturer, cinematographer, and radio pioneer, as well as photographer. While many of these endeavors were short-lived, they gained him prestige and popularity among the stylish set. From 1903 to 1910, McIntosh produced The Burr McIntosh Monthly, a magazine which offered portraits of theater idols, scenes at fashionable athletic events, picturesque genre and nature studies, and discussions of photography as art. He moved to California when the magazine folded in 1910 and lived there until his death. The collection consists of early work such as images from the Spanish-American War siege of Santiago, Cuba, which McIntosh covered for Leslie's Weekly and published in The Little I Saw of Cuba. Another group of photos shows Secretary of War William Howard Taft's good will trip to the Philippines in 1905. Most of the remaining images are society and celebrity portraits, many of which were published in McIntosh's magazine. Actors Ethel and John Barrymore appear at the seashore; philanthropist A.G. Vanderbilt celebrates a holiday at his Adirondack lodge; ingenue Evelyn Nesbit poses seductively; and architect Charles F. McKim enjoys a quiet country outing. Children playing, professional New York theatrical groups, society sporting gatherings and events such as horse shows, polo, and fox hunting, and sailing at Newport, Rhode Island, are also well represented within the collection.

Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society (N-YHS) houses New York’s oldest museum and an internationally-renowned research library, and is dedicated to increasing worldwide understanding of American history through exhibitions, public programs, online outreach, and research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world today. Holdings cover four centuries and comprise one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, art, and materials documenting American and New York history. These collections provide the foundation for exploration of the nation’s richly layered past, and support N-YHS’s mission to offer a forum for debate and examination of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. For more information, please visit our website: