A Finding Aid to the Peter A. Juley & Son collection

Collection ID:
Ward, De Witt
Peter A. Juley & Son
Juley, Peter A., 1862-1937
Juley, Paul, 1890-1975
circa 1896-1975
No linguistic content; Not applicable
Physical Description:
700 Linear feet
(approx. 127,000 negatives, with black-and-white study prints)
The Peter A. Juley & Son Collection is comprised of approximately 127,000 photographic negatives documenting the work of more than 11,000 American artists. Included in the collection are 4,700 photographic portraits of artists.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is comprised of 127,000 negatives from the Peter A. Juley & Son firm documenting the American art scene from 1896 up until 1975.
The Juleys photographed the work of turn-of-the-century painters such as Childe Hassam, Thomas Eakins, and Albert Pinkham Ryder; ash can school artists such as Robert Henri and John Sloan; the avant-garde group associated with Alfred Stieglitz; regionalists of the 1930 and 1940s such as Thomas Hart Benton and Grant Wood; abstract expressionists such as Hans Hoffman and Robert Motherwell; and sculptors such as Daniel Chester French and William Zorach.
The Juley collection also holds some 4,700 photographic portraits of artists. These images capture some of the best-known artists of the twentieth century, including Thomas Hart Benton, Alexander Calder, Stuart Davis, Edward Hopper, Frida Kahlo, Jacob Lawrence, Barnett Newman, Diego Rivera, and Grant Wood. Many of the portraits depict artists at work in their studios or at home with their families and offer glimpses into the artistic and social climate of the period.
Group photography by the Juley firm records the histories of the National Academy of Design and Art Students League and documents important summer art colonies at Provincetown, Massachusetts; Woodstock, New York; Old Lyme, Connecticut; and Ogunquit, Maine.
In addition to the negatives produced by the Juley's, the firm also acquired valuable negatives from other fine arts photographers, including Myra Albert, A. B. Bogart, George C. Cox, Walter Russell, A. E. Sproul, and De Witt Ward, to broaden its holdings.

The collection is arranged in two series:
Series I: Photographs of art works, arranged alphabetically by artist, then by assigned negative number (673 linear feet)
Series II: Photographical portraits, arranged alphabetically by sitter name (26 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Peter A. Juley (1862-1937) came to the United States in 1888 from the small German town of Alf, on the Mosel, where he was a telegrapher for the post office. How he first became interested in photography and fine arts is not known, but around 1896 he opened a small portrait studio in Cold Spring, New York, where he also worked as a staff news photographer for Harper's Weekly between 1901 and 1906. His assignments included photographing the funeral of President William McKinley and President Theodore Roosevelt's national tours. Around 1907 Juley moved the business to New York, where his son Paul P. Juley (1890-1975) joined him. A few years later they hired an assistant, Carlton Thorpe, who remained for the life of the firm.
Throughout the firm's long history from 1896 to 1975, Peter A. Juley and Son became the largest and most respected fine-art photography studio in New York, serving museums, galleries, art dealers, private collectors, corporations, conservators and many prominent artists. As members of New York's Salmagundi Club of artists, the Juleys served as official photographers for the National Academy of Design, the New York Public Library, and the Society of American Artists. In the summers, when many artists left the city to teach at colonies in Woodstock, New York, Old Lyme and Mystic, Connecticut, and Gloucester, Massachusetts, the Juleys joined them to take photographs. Combining business with pleasure, they even traveled to the West Coast, where they recorded Diego Rivera completing the murals of the San Francisco Stock Exchange, and on one of their trips they photographed artists of New Mexico's Taos and Santa Fe colonies.
When Peter died in 1937, Paul moved the studio to 225 West 57th Street, a few doors down from the Art Students League and across the street from Carnegie Hall, where many artists had studios. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Paul continued photographing the works of art associated with the Art Students League and the National Academy of Design. He retired in 1975, at the age of eighty-five.

Christine Hennessey
Funding for the preservation of the collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, James Smithson Society, J. Paul Getty Trust, Blount Foundation, International Business Machines Corporation, and Gulf States Paper Corporation.
Processing Information
Acquired shortly after Paul Juley's death in 1975, the collection has been rehoused. Black-and-white archival study prints were made from the negatives for preservation and access purposes.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Paul Juley, 1966.

Allen, Rachel. "The Marathoner's Refrain: American Archives: From the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, National Museum of American Art," American Art, Vol. 10, no. 3 (Autumn, 1966), 76-82.
Kittle, George. "A Photographic file covers 80 years of our artistic history," Smithsonian, Vol. 13, no. 12 (March 1983), 114-122.
Stahl, Joan. "Peter A. Juley & Son: Documenting the Art of America," American Art Review, vol. VI, no. 2 (April-May, 1994), 158-167.
Stahl, Joan. American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, New York: Dover Publications in association with the National Museum of American Art, 1995.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Researchers may use study prints on file in the Photograph Archives, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Advance appointments are required. Original negatives are stored off-site in cold storage and are not accessible to the public.
Preferred Citation
Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright to photographs from the Juley Collection is held by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Requests for permission to reproduce photographs from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Photograph Archives. Certain works of art, as well as photographs of those works of art, may be protected by copyright, trademark, privacy or publicity rights, or other interests not owned by the Smithsonian American Art Museum. It is the applicant's responsibility to ascertain whether any such rights exist, and to obtain any other permission necessary to reproduce and publish the image.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Artists -- United States -- Portraits Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Portrait photography Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art, American -- Photographs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Negatives Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Research and Scholars Center
PO Box 37012, MRC970
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012