Collage of images of the collection


Collections Highlights / History / Prints / A Bird's Eye View of New York: Views and Viewmakers of New York State, 1836-1892

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Collection Name
A Bird's Eye View of New York: Views and Viewmakers of New York State, 1836-1892

Department
History

Subcategory
Prints

Curator
Scherer, John

Description
A Bird's Eye View brings together 32 panoramic and bird's-eye views of cities and towns throughout New York State. These large-scale lithographs, many in color, have been selected from the collections of the New York State Museum. The earliest views are panoramas drawn in the traditional manner of landscape painting. But by using some imagination, the artist could compose a view with the appearance of being drawn from a much higher elevation. After the Civil War, bird's-eye views became enormously popular. They showed the urban landscape from an imaginary point high overhead. To compose them, the artist consulted atlases, maps and land records as well as the structures themselves. Today, these lithographs are valued not only for their artistry but also for their accuracy and detail with which they document nineteenth-century buildings, streets, railroads, canals and terrain.


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