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1900s

The page, http://www.vintag.es/2015/11/rarely-seen-autochrome-photos-of-new.html , claims to display

Rarely Seen Autochrome Photos of New York in the Early 20th Century .

The images themselves span 18 years, from the earliest one dated with the year 1900, to the last, a photo of buildings with banners and signs exhorting the public to buy war bonds, with the date given as 1918. Not all of them are from New York City, several are attributed to places in Upstate New York. Though they are lovely to look at, and a few provide a glimpse of what everyday life for everyday people looked like in the thick of NYC, some people who have written into the comments section have revealed that the provenance of the images is not in all cases what the site represented them to be: some are not genuine Autochrome images at all, but colorized photos or lantern slides, and the one of two men playing chess was reportedly taken in Germany, not New York. Here are the comments, correcting some of the attributions of the images:

Some of these are not original autochromes but colorised black and white photos, e.g. the couple in Saratoga Springs, which is a detail from a colorisation by Sanna Dullaway: http://sannadullaway.com/0r…

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A number of critical errors. Image #1 (from the top down) is not an autochrome. Images #2 & 3 are autochromes by Charles Zoller (Rochester, NY). Image #4 is not an autochrome. Image #5 ( Foolish House) is an autochrome by Zoller. Images 6, 7, 8, & 9 are not autochromes. Image #10 (rooftops) is an autochrome in the collection of Wm. B. Becker and should be credited to him. Images 11, 12, 13, & 14 are by Zoller. All the Zoller autochromes are owned by the George Eastman Museum and should be credited to them. Image # 15 (chess players) is probably by Alfred Stieglitz or possibly by Edward Steichen and was taken in Germany. The last image (war bond rally) is an autochrome by J. D. Willis from the collection of Mark Jacobs.
Nearly all the non-autochrome images identified in this post are actually black & white lantern slides that have been digitally colored

 

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    Right! 6-7-8-9 are not color photographs at all, but Photochrom prints made from black and white negatives. You can see the originals online at the Library of Congress — the process is explained here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures…

    And if you’re interested in real Autochromes, including the rare New York rooftops image (#10 above), see the original postings online at the American Museum of Photography: http://photographymuseum.co…

 

 

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When you approach the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in New York City, the first thing to be seen is a modern (2007-8) statue of a man sitting on a park bench looking above and beyond a chessboard with chess pieces.  This is Karol Badyna’s statue of Jan Karski, a member of Poland’s World War II underground who is acclaimed as a hero for having given the leaders of the western world an eyewitness account of the Warsaw ghetto and the Holocaust.  A Lucite box containing printed information sheets about him is posted on the wall of the building just beyond the work of statuary.
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Jan Karski statue

Jan Karski statue by night.

The stately official building of what is now the Consulate of the Republic of Poland, was originally built to be a large and luxuriously appointed private house, the veritable picture of the common visual and architectural idea of a mansion, the Joseph Raphael De Lamar House at 233 Madison Avenue, and 37th Street, New York, New York.

According to Wikipedia, ” It was built in 1902-05 and was designed by C. P. H. Gilbert in the Beaux-Arts style. The De Lamar Mansion marked a stark departure from Gilbert’s traditional style of French Gothic architecture and was instead robustly Beaux-Arts, heavy with rusticated stonework, balconies and a colossal mansard roof. The mansion is the largest in Murray Hill and one of the most spectacular in the city; the interiors are as lavish as the exterior.

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When, a few years later, with only a relatively short time to have actually lived in his mansion, Joseph Rafael De Lamar passed on, and

“He left an estate worth $29 million to his daughter, who continued living in the house for a short time before moving to an apartment at 740 Park Avenue.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Raphael_De_Lamar_House)

But who could and would buy such a big, expensive, opulent house?

The mansion was sold to the American Bible Society, and in 1923 the National Democratic Club purchased it for its headquarters. In 1973, the Republic of Poland bought the mansion for $900,000 to house its Consulate General in New York. The building has been thoroughly cleaned and renovated inside and retains all of its many period features. Since 2008 the consulate has also been regularly illuminated at night.

The De Lamar Mansion was designated a landmark by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1975, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Raphael_De_Lamar_House)

I went on the NYAC Private Tour of the Polish Consulate in New York on February 4, 2015.  Once you enter, and undergo a security search of your bag and a walk through a metal detector, upon ascending a curved spiral staircase looking like something found in Cinderella’s castle, you are treated to the sight of a carefully cleaned and restored Gilded Age ballroom and former billiard room, dining room, and service pantry with frescos on walls and ceilings, and the occasional Tiffany window.…

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