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titleMattie E. Hewitt and Richard A. Smith photograph collection [graphic], ca. 1910-1960 (bulk 1920-1939)
repositoryThe New-York Historical Society
collection titleThe New-York Historical Society received material for approximately 485 assignments, most of them residences in Manhattan. There are approximately 5,000 photographic prints and 400 film negatives. Approximately three-quarters of the photographs are credited to Hewitt, and the remainder are by Smith.

The bulk of the clients are popular magazines and interior decorators. Views of fashionable apartment interiors, newly built houses, small urban gardens, and other residential settings display the work of decorators and the tastes of well-known people, among them designer Raymond Loewy and photographer Margaret Bourke-White. There are also interiors of hotels, restaurants, clubs, shops, and decorator exhibitions. Miscellaneous images include a 1940 "House of Ideas," a Vanderbilt family yacht, and a radio station. Captions are usually limited to client's name and address and are often dated. The decorator is identified for about half of the assignments.

Historical Note:
Noted garden and architecture photographer Mattie Edwards Hewitt (d. 1956) moved to New York city in 1909 to share a studio with Frances Benjamin Johnston. By the 1920s, she was working independently. When Hewitt retired to Boston, she left her working files to her nephew, Richard Averill Smith, who added to them many of his own prints.

After Smith's death in 1971, the Nassau County Museum received more than 12,000 photographs and distributed many to various historical societies according to their geographic interests.

Cite as
Mattie E. Hewitt and Richard A. Smith Photograph Collection, Dept. of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

New-York Historical Society
Print RoomPR-026
extentca. 5,000 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller.
accessAccess: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society.
record link
record source
finding aidIndexes: Finding aid and item level database for this collection available online and at repository. Prints are arranged alphabetically by the name of the resident or business.
acquisition informationGift from the Nassau County Museum in 1971.
updated02/07/2020 18:20:30