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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Albert Levy

This photographer, partnership or studio is under consideration

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Dates:  1847 - 1905 (ca)
Born:  France
Active:  US / France / Italy / Germany / United Kingdom / Austria / the Netherlands / Switzerland
 
  
French architectural photographer who was active in the USA (1873-1880s) and the France (1880s, ca 1905). He arrived in the USA in 1873. He had his studio in the United States in 4 Bond Street, NY in 1880 and also another study in 34 1/2 Pine Street, NY in 1887. He also held another studio at 19 rue de la Chaussée-d'Antin, Paris. In the book "Photography and the American Scene. A social history (1839-1889)" by Robert Taft he is referenced as the photographer who began the manufacture of the gelatin dry plates in 1878, and was an early competitor of George Eastman.
 
His main work was the at least 36 photographic series of "Modern American Architecture" which was one of the first photographic series to examine American Architecture. Each series is a portfolio (30 / 40 albumens of 24 x 20 cm each) with an index with the name of the Architect, Owner and location of the building. The architects were best of their time (Herter Brothers, Richard Morris Hunt, George Browne Post, R.H.Robertson, Peabody and Stearns) and the owners were also important (William Henry Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Samuel J. Tilden and John Harjés). He also created "Les Merveilles et les Originalités Architecturales a L'exposition 1900" that contained 100 tipped in cyanotypes of the 1900 Paris Exposition.

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The main work of Albert Levy were his numerous photographic series of Modern American Architecture with at least 36 being known. Each series contained a portfolio of beteen 30 to 40 albumens each sized at 24 x 20 cm with an index page giving the name of the architect, owner and location of the building. The architects were best of their time (Herter Brothers, Richard Morris Hunt, George Browne Post, R.H. Robertson, Peabody and Stearns) and the owners were also important (William Henry Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Samuel J. Tilden and John Harjés).
 
Albert Levy's Photographic Series Of Modern American Architecture: Lévy, Albert. 1883
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: First Series, Private City Dwellings
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Second Series, Country Dwellings.
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Fifth Series, Messrs. Vanderbilt's Mansions.
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Ninth Series, Street Fronts
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Tenth Series, Sea Shore Cottages and Country Houses.
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Twelfth Series, Modern Street Architecture of Berlin, Street Fronts and Apartment Houses.
Albert Levy's Photographic Series of Modern American Architecture: Sixteenth Series, American Private City Dwellings.
 
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series : Lévy, Albert. 1895
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series: 3rd series, French Gothic and Renaissance, Civil and Domestic Architecture, New York: Albert Levy, 1884.
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series: Thirty-First Series, Street Fronts, Stores, Office Buildings, Etc : Lévy, Albert. ca 1884
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series: 33rd series, American City and Country Residences, etc, New York: Albert Levy, 1884.
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series: Thirty-Fifth Series, Sea Shore Cottages And Country Houses, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert, Maine : Lévy, Albert. 1895
Albert Levy's Architectural Photographic Series: Thirty-Sixth Series, Sea-Shore Cottages, Etc., Newport, R.I., And Long Branch, N.J : Lévy, Albert. 1895
 
Architectural Photographic Series, city houses/Levy: 1 album, 38 leaves of plates: photographs 36x46 cm. New York, Albert Levy (between 1880-1895?).
 
Other works included "L`architecture americaine" which consists of three series of albums:
  • 1st Series: Public Buildings
  • 2nd Series: Private Urban Residences
  • 3rd Series: Suburban Homes
Each serie has 36 photos. All of them are described in the book "American Victorian Architecture" (Dover publications, 1975)
 
There is also the series "Recueil photographique des nouveilles habitations pittoreques de France urbaines et rurales en pierre, brique, bois, ..." which is also a three serie album with 36 photos each. The second one is titled “Villas et chalets pittoresques”.
 
References and additional sources
 
New York Passengers list 1820-1957
United States Federal Census
1880's Biliotheque Nacionale de France (BnF)
"Photography and the American Scene. A social history (1839-1889)" by Robert Taft
"American Victorian Architecture", by Arnold Lewis and Keith Morgan (Dover publications, 1975)
 
Collections
 
Art Institute of Chicago (In the HALIC (Historical Architecture and Landscapes Image Collection) collection look for "Levy" and you will find 97 photos by Albert Levy. http://rbarchives.artic.edu/fmi/iwp/cgi?-db=newHALIC&-loadframes)
Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library (owns a catalogue of 2500 titles of Architectural photography by Albert Levy available in New York and Paris)
The Bibliothèque Nationale the France (owns a catalogue of 2500 titles of Architectural photography by Albert Levy available in New York and Paris)
Boston Public Library
Centre Canadien d'Architecture
Eastman-Butterfield Collection
George Eastman House
Jean Paul Getty Museum
Library of Congress (They own the 2nd and 3rd serie of "L'Architecture Americaine" and they are looking for the 1st serie. http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html and look for "Albert Levy")
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Ministère de Culture France
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
University of Lousville
University of Winsconsin  
  
 

Internet resources

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Images by Albert Levy from the collection of Manuel Alonso 
http://photocollection.alonsorobisco.es 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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