New York City Studios, Photographer’s Residences, and Suppliers

This project has mapped and geolocated New York City studios, photographer’s residences, and suppliers as a means of understanding the initial development of the first major photographic business centers and the economic development of historic photography. The project explores time (how the image fits into the continuum of photography; is it unique, interesting, or innovative in terms of time and aesthetics?), place (are there unique aspects of scenic or portrait image location?), and context (Is there information that helps understand where the image fits within other work by the photographer? Does this context provide any new information that can help better understand both the creator and subject?). Using longitude and latitude for locations of identified studios, residences and photographs, over 3,800 New York City photographers and studios operating from the first studio in 1839 to c. 1882 have been identified and coded. Data layering permits year-by-year visualization to study evolution of photographic businesses over time, including the visualization of patterns of studio development of both well known Broadway studios and lesser known “working class” businesses on the Bowery and lower east side. The ability to look at intersections of time and place (where and when photographs were created), and patterns and interactions as photographic businesses emerged is a new research approach generalizable to analysis of business development in other geographic locations.