The

Collection

Alice Austen took over 8,000 photographs in her lifetime. The collection was dispersed over several locations when Alice lost her home in 1945. Here is a selection of her photographs and their locations.

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Format: 2018
Format: 2018

Clear Comfort, "The Potter Family"

The "Potter Family," Auntie Minn's unusual collection of Victorian bathroom humor, named in honor of her friend, the Episcopalian Bishop.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Sun Porch

The sun porch, or "quarter deck," of the upstairs apartment, which the Mullers occupied for more than forty years and crammed with oriental souvenirs.

"Auntie's roof Sofa and tea table. March 6, 1911."

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

The southwest corner of Alice's bedroom, note the handgun on the wall.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Alice and her mother shared a bedroom on the ground floor of Clear Comfort.  The Victorian wash-stand remained in the northwest corner during all the years the house had no running water.  Alice's mother particularly treasured the convex mirror on the wall.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Pictured is Alice's bedroom. The smoke present in the picture is from the flash powder of her camera.

The door, which once led to a porch, has now been replaced by a window. The porch has been demolished.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Bedroom

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Hallway

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Parlor

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clear Comfort, Parlor

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Card Game

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Ships

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Queer Emigrant & Pretzel Vendor

"Fair, hazy day." Published in Street Types of New York, copyright 1896 by E. A. Austen, Albertype Company, New York, photogravure.

Collection of New York Public Library

Our old Knocker

A wrought-iron knocker, shaped like a griffin's head from a chateau in Rouen, was acquired by Grandfather Austen in Europe.  It adorns the old Dutch door, facing the water.

"Our old knocker. 10.40 a.m., Wed., Nov. 6, 1890.  Seed plate 23, Perken lense, Stop 32 2 secs.  Threw sun on it with looking glass.)

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

The Darned Club

"The Darned Club," named by disrespectful Staten Island men, strikes a pose of girlish friendship on the Austen House's lawn overlooking the Narrows.  Alice (left) and her three friends, Trudy Eccleston, Julia Marsh, and Sue Ripley went to school together for years, and later spent most of their time at each other's home

"The Darned Club" and its four members -- Alice, Trude Eccleston, Julia Marsh and Sue Ripley. How did it get its name? "I guess that's what the boys called it." says Alice. 

Blacksmith

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Man & Waterfall

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Midland Beach

"The thousand and one."  Much more popular than South Beach up the shore, Midland Beach attracted crowds from all ereas of the city.  They came to enjoy the band concerts, ferris wheel, and amusements of the arcade on the boardwalk, as well as the waves and sand.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

The Ward Family

The Ward Family.  General William Ward with his trumpet, which he played very well.  Sitting in the chair is his brother Charles, "deaf as a post."  Behind Charles a little to the right in the striped dress is Violet Ward.  Frank Ward is the man with the moustache at the right, and in front of him is Caroline Ward.  Mrs. Charles Ward is seated behind the table.  Violet, Frank, and Caroline are the General's children.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Trude Eccleston's Bedroom

Trude Eccelston's bedroom, St John's rectory, Rosebank

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Cooking Club

The cooking club, in a vacant house owned by Julia Marsh's father, Nathaniel Marsh. 

Left to right, Sue Ripley, Alice Austen, Julia Marsh, and Trude Eccleston, "a grand quartet." "We all liked to cook."

"We had our grandmother's recipes and we would try them out against each other.  We had nothing to eat on these days except what we cooked ourselves."

Where Alice Austen appears in her own pictures, she either used a long bulb attachement or had someone snap the photo after she composed it.  

Staten Island Cricket & Tennis Club

In 1874, young Ms. Mary Ewing Outerbridge arrived from Bermuda at the Staten Island Cricket and Baseball Club bearing some strange looking paraphernalia under her arm.  With permission from the club she set up a net on the lawn, marked off a court and prevailed on several club members to try the English amusement, tennis. 

Tennis

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Maids

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Locust tree, Clear Comfort

"Locust tree on our terrace, with Gertrude Tate."

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Organ

Stalwarts from the Salvation Army sing hymns on the beach at Atlantic City, a bit early in the season: it is March 18, 1910.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Jimmy jumping over box

"Our place.  View of Jimmy jumping the box.  Fine clear day. Stanley 50, Focus 100 ft., Spring 3 notch 4, Stop 11."

Fighting with slow lenses, relatively clumsy shutters and films that required lots of light.  Alice Austen struggled to capture the excitement of movement.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Horrmann Castle

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Ships

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Watkins Glen, NY.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Carriage

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Trude Eccleston's Room

In St. John's rectory, very near the Austen home. Gertrude Eccleston was one of the daughters of Rev. John Eccleston, Episcopalian rector of St. John's Church, and she was Alice's closest friend in early years.  She married Charles Barton 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

(Self) Portrait

Austen calls this "the very best picture that was ever taken of me."  In cases where she herself is in the photograph, she would set the picture up and then somebody else would snap it, or she would rig a line up from the camera with a bulb on it and release the shutter herself.  This is one of her most formal effortst --- "I was awfully fussy about how my pictures were possed."

"Fine day in shade on piazza. Perkins lens/stop 32/3 seconds."

The photo was taken on the Austen porch. 

Leading a bicycle about

Daisy Elliott posing for Violet Ward's book.

The illustrations for Violet's book on cycling are among the few photographs Alice ever had commercially published.  

"Bicycling for Young Ladies," by Miss Marie E. Ward, published in 1896.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mounting over the wheel from peg

 

The illustrations for Violet's book on cycling are among the few photographs Alice ever had commercially published.  

"Bicycling for Young Ladies," by Miss Marie E. Ward, published in 1896.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Wheeling one foot Over

The illustrations for Violet's book on cycling are among the few photographs Alice ever had commercially published.  

"Bicycling for Young Ladies," by Miss Marie E. Ward, published in 1896.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Carrying the Bicycle

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Wheeling

 

The illustrations for Violet's book on cycling are among the few photographs Alice ever had commercially published.  

"Bicycling for Young Ladies," by Miss Marie E. Ward, published in 1896.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Trude in Hammock

The Pine Grove, Watkins Glen, NY.  Trude (Gertrude Eccleston) in hammock.  Fine day, 1:05 pm.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Clothesline

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Race

The Puritan and the Genesta racing in front of the Austen House

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Grant Tomb Celebration

Parade and celebrations for the dedication of Grant's Tomb.  Riverside Drive, April 27, 1897

President McKinley attended the event. 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Social Life

Parties and a pleasant social life continued in the 1930s, but financial worries and arthritis began to take its toll.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Social Life

Parties and a pleasant social life continued in the 1930s, but financial worries and arthritis began to take its toll.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Jim Nichol's Room

Jim Nichol's room at Harvard

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mr. and Mrs. Richards

Mr. and Mrs. Richards in cart on Teapelo (?) Road, Cambridge, MA, beneath big elm.  Stanley 35, Fine day, 60 ft. 5:10 pm.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Wabun in first lock

Wabun in first lock, New Brunswick.  Cloudy, 9:15 am. 60 ft. 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mrs. Haxton

Mrs. Haxton, gate, drive and house.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mr. and Mrs. Richards

Mr. Frank Richards and his wife Lou with their baby. Cambridge, MA.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Bennington Monument

Road and monument, Bennington, VT. Clear sunny day, August 8, 1890. 1:30 pm

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Old Soldier's Home

Old soldiers' home, Bennington, VT. Fine clear day, 9:55 am. Stop 22, 3.5 sec 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mill and Pond

Mill and pond, Shaftsbury, Vermont, Fine clear day, 4:35 pm.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

View over Lake Michigan

View over Lake Michigan from the auditorium, 3:15 pm., Chicago, IL

Stanley 35

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Harvard Commencement

Harvard Commencement.  Stanley 35, 2:15 pm.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Harvard Commencement

Harvard Commencement.  Stanley 35.  Procession of students and allumni on their way to lunch 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Church

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Buying Eggs on Hester Street

Group of four buying eggs on Hester Street, Lower East Side, New York City.  Stanley 50 / Inst - 12 ft.

 Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

General William Ward's Carriage

This is General William Ward's carriage at the door of the Ward House.  They were not an immensely wealthy family, but they were very well off.  Behind the coachman are Caroline Ward and Miss Miller. Violet Ward is standing behind at the right.

For pictures like this, Austen's subjects would often pose for as long as an hour: she wanted things just right.  

Fine clear day.  Stop 22 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

View

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Girls Dressed

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Snow

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Flat en route to Center Port

A flat en route to Center Port

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Lake

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Mr. Davis in front of his Museum

Mr. Davis in front of his museum, Concord Antiquarian Society, Concord, MA

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

View from our Room

View from our room, Marblehead Harbor, Marblehead, MA.  Fine, Sunny Day.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Vanderbilt Mausoleum

A group of Alice Austen's friends are preparing to enjoy a picnic lunch in front of the Vanderbilt Mausoleum in the Moravian Cemetary, New Dorp, Staten Island.  

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Drinking Tea

Mrs. Meyers, Nan Webb, Julia B. & self, Misses Booth, Rawl Lebrod, Micklesh & Schumann drinking tea. Flash, 10:00 pm. 

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Alice Austen in Costume

Alice Austen dressed for a dance in the Spanish costume, poses on the porch of the Austen House.  The skirt is heavy yellow satin and the jacket black velvet with sequine.  "A pretty good hat that was, too," says Miss Austen. Like all her clothes, it was "run up" by a dressmaker who came to the house and stayed until the job was done.  She holds castenete.  "It was all correct, you know."

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Bathers

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Summer Costume Party

This is a summer costume party at Twilight Rest, a resort inn at Twilight Park in the Catskills.  Alice and her friends are dressed as nuns.  Hairbrush "crosses" hang from their girdles, and Pears Soap ads take the place of starched linen.

August 15, 1889.

Misses Brand, Hensley, Smith, Jessup, Ecclestone, Austen, and C.J. Barton. 

11.30 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 1889.

"Double charge of powder" Gas turned full on.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Staten Island Bicycle Club

Cyclists with new safety bicycles (two wheels of equal size and pneumatic tires) rattled around Staten Island's unpaved roads as the new sport became a national fad.  Violet Ward, center in black hat, was the most enthusiastic of all the local "wheelmen."

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Boat

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

House

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Waving

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Tennis

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Hudson River, Storm King, West Point

Hudson River, Storm King.  Fine day, hazy. 

Garbutt (Atke?)/plate 23/ 60 ft.

Part of Austen's series on historic monuments taken 1890 - 1893.

Collection of Staten Island Historic Society

Police

Collection of New York Public Library

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