Original Photograph Album of Mrs. Dow's School for Girls in Briarcliff Manor, NY]

Women's Education]

Published by [ca. 1903-1906], Briarcliff Manor, NY, 1903
Condition: Very good + Hardcover
From Brian Cassidy, Bookseller ABAA/ILAB (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Oblong 4to. black cloth commercial album. Post binding. 58 black-and-white photographs, the majority measuring 6.75" x 4.75" approx., mounted recto and verso to 29 cloth-hinged card leaves. Five additional photographs loosely laid-in. Lower binding post perished. Mild wear to outer cloth. One print faded. Otherwise contents clean, well preserved. Very good. An early photo album of Mrs. Dow's School for Girls, a college preparatory boarding school in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Given quality and uniformity of images, likely one of a small number produced for students of one of the institution's first graduating classes, perhaps as a yearbook or memento of the theater club. Mary Elizabeth Dunning Dow, upon resigning her position as head of the prestigious Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT in 1903, and at the bequest of prominent Briarcliff businessman Walter M. Law, took with her the majority of that institution's students and teachers to begin this school. Interim classes were conducted in Law's famed resort complex Briarcliff Lodge until construction of a new campus was completed in 1905. Included here are three, circa-1906 interior views of the newly finished Dow Hall and several additional views of dorm room, gymnasium and other interiors at Farmington and Briarcliffe. The remaining images are largely of student body group shots and theater department productions. Each is sharp, clear, and well composed, with theater shots often exhibiting elaborate, sometimes unusual set and costume designs. The album lacks notation, though the ownership label of a Miss Mary Bigelow Schultz is mounted inside and the verso of a single loose photograph bears 11 manuscript names, identifying the students. One of those identified is a Leonore Brewer, who eventually became a prominent Chicago philanthropist. A privately printed memorial booklet in her honor ("Leonore Brewer Cudahy: A Memorial" [1933] - provided) briefly describes the transition from Farmington to Briarcliff: "In time, Nora and her sister [Leonore] left home for a finishing school in Connecticut, which that year [1903] migrated to Briarcliff, New York" (16). The school would grow to include post-secondary curriculum and be renamed Briarcliff College, gaining accreditation as a four year school in 1957. It folded in 1977 and was absorbed by nearby Pace University, which continues to utilize the original Dow Hall today as a co-ed dormitory. While presumably a number of copies of this album may have been produced, OCLC notes no similar holdings. Bookseller Inventory # 15175

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Original Photograph Album of Mrs. Dow's ...

Publisher: [ca. 1903-1906], Briarcliff Manor, NY

Publication Date: 1903

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very good +

Edition: First Edition.

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I focus on intrinsically interesting, important, or unusual books in all fields. Specialties include popular culture; esoterica; modern & contemporary literature; John Steinbeck; The Beat & NY schools; poetry & small press; the avant-garde; little magazines & lit. journals (especially those associated with the Mimeo Revolution); manuscripts & archives; literary ephemera; Americana; as well as vernacular, folk, and outsider books of all kinds. A sense of the eclecticism I strive for can be seen in some of material I've recently handled. From an illuminated 15th-century manuscript Book of Hours to a collection of photographs and collages by Beat great William S. Burroughs, from a Yosemite tourist album containing some of the earliest images of a Sierra Club expedition to an important archive of letters from writer Henry Miller to his agent, I seek material that will fascinate and endure. I am always looking to purchase fine books in any of my areas of interest, from single titles to collections. Please inquire. Search and want services are available, as are appraisals and collection development. For three years I maintained an open shop in Monterey, CA (formerly the Cannery Row Old Book Co.). I now work in the Washington DC area and maintain office space in downtown Silver Spring MD. I am open by chance or appointment. I also exhibit regularly at book fairs around the country. Please check my website for upcoming events. To date, I've issued five catalogues of rare books. Copies may be downloaded on my website (briancassidy.net). Print copies may also be requested. Please email to be added to our mailing list. Proud member: Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB), International Online Booksellers Association (IOBA).

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