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Florence Nightingale Levy Papers

Call Number

MS 382


1899-1946 (bulk dates 1908-1926), inclusive



0.4 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials

English .


The Florence Nightingale Levy Papers pertain mostly to Levy's professional life and activities in arts administration and education in New York City. The bulk of the collection is concentrated in the years between 1908 and 1926. The Levy Papers include correspondence with James Parton Haney, director of art education in New York high schools; Levy family legal documents; and an autograph book of Florence Nightingale Levy.

Biographical Note

Missing Title

1870 Aug. 13 Florence Nightingale Levy is born in New York, New York.
1889 June 7 Her father, Joseph Arthur Levy, dies.
1894-1895 Studies at Ecole Au Louvre in Paris. Editor and publisher of the American Art Annual, editor until 1918; later serving as associate editor, and, in 1945 - 1947, as advisory editor. The Annual in 1948 divides into two publications: The American Art Directory and Who's Who of American Art.
1901 Editor of the catalogue of the art exhibition of the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo; catalogs the private collection of William C. Whitney.
1901-1904 Teaches private classes in art history
1908-1909 Assistant to James P. Haney, secretary of the National Association for the Promotion of Industrial Education and first art director of New York City's high schools. She collaborates in editing and publishing Art Education in the Public Schools of the United States.
1909 Founds the American Federation of Arts and serves as director until 1945. Founds the School Art League of New York and serves as secretary until 1945.
1909-1917 Accepts a position on the staff of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Organizes and prepares catalogues for a succession of major museum shows: the exhibition of 1909 in connection with the Hudson-Fulton Celebration (on which she collaborates with Henry Kent), and (with Bryan Burroughs) exhibits of Whistler (1910), Winslow Homer (1911), the Altman collection (1914), and William M. Chase (1917).
1916-1939 Editor of several editions of A Guide to the Works of Art in New York City (afterward Art in New York).
1917-1919 Serves as General Manager of the Art Alliance of America.
1919 Establishes Art Service organization.
1922-1925 Works part-time as Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art.
1923 Mar. 3 James P. Haney dies of pneumonia.
1925 American Institute of Graphic Arts elects Levy as one of the first two women in the organization.
1927-1932 Serves as the Executive Secretary of the Arts Council of New York City (after 1929 the New York Regional Art Council).
1927-1935 Publishes semimonthly New York Art Calendar (after 1930 Art Center Bulletin).
1932-1934 Supervisor of the Vocational Service of the National Association for Art Education.
1934 Supervisor of the Federated Council on Art Education (after 1938 the Art Education Council).
1937 Feb. 23 Levy's mother, Pauline (Goodheim) Levy, dies.
1938 Prepares auspices of Art Education in the city of New York.
1941 Serves as Executive Secretary of the American Fine Arts Society.
1947 Levy dies in New York City. Cremation at Ferncliff Crematory, Hartsdale, New York.


The collection is organized by type of material, then chronologically.

Scope and Content Note

The Florence Nightingale Levy Papers pertain mostly to Levy's professional life and activities in arts administration and education in New York City. The bulk of the collection is concentrated in the years between 1908 - 1926 and includes correspondence, clippings, and Levy family legal documents.

Florence Nightingale Levy was founder and editor of the American Art Annual, 1898 - 1918, and founder and director of the American Federation of Arts, 1913 - 1945. The American Federation of Arts is a clearinghouse for information regarding the visual arts, and publisher of the American Art Annual. She served as Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, and received letters in that capacity from H.W. Kent, Blanchard Randall, and Henry Wiegand, 1922 - 1925. Included is a one-page ledger on the finances, expenses, assets, and liabilities of the museum, 1923.

Levy also served as the General Manager of the Art Alliance of America, through a placement bureau and occasional exhibits, this organization encouraged the greater industrial use of domestic artists and design at a time when European sources were disrupted. Correspondence between W. Frank Purdy, President, and Elizabeth Berkeley Grimball, Secretary, of the Art Alliance centers on Levy's ongoing wish to resign, 1919 - 1920.

The collection includes personal letters to Levy from James Parton Haney, director of art education in New York high schools; written mostly from Europe, 1908 - 1923. Many of the letters are on hotel stationary from various locations and include Haney's sketches and drawings of local scenery, people, and monuments. These letters provide insight into the personal life of Florence Nightingale Levy and her fifteen-year friendship with Haney. Much of Haney's career is covered in these letters. Also included are a few photographs of Haney during this time period. In addition, there are several obituaries, memorials, and letters about Haney, written after his death in 1923.

The collection also includes Levy Family legal documents, including an autograph book given by Levy's mother, Pauline, to her in 1879 and includes an autograph of A. Stieglitz. There is also a memorial tribute to her father, Joseph Arthur Levy, from Ancient Chapter No. 1, Royal Arch Mason Society of which he was a member. Other documents included are an indenture between Arthur Lumley Levy and the Congregation Shaaray Tefilia for seats in the 44th St. synagogue, 1869; a conveyance of 1000 acres in Georgia, 1794, and the transfer of the same deed from Lucius Field to Arthur Lumley Levy, 1837; citizenship paper issued by the Marine Court of the City of New York to Esther Levy, 1840; marriage certificate in Hebrew between Joseph Arthur Levy and Pauline Goodheim, 1869; and passports from the years, 1839 and 1894. In addition there are signed letters from Arthur Lumley Levy to his parents, 1824; to Joseph Arthur Levy on his 21st birthday, 1861; and to Florence Nightingale Levy on her 18th birthday, 1888. Family members represented in this folder are Arthur Lumley and Esther Levy, parents of Joseph Arthur Levy, Joseph Arthur and Pauline (Goodheim), Florence Nightingale Levy's parents.



Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days. Researchers on site may print out unlimited copies from microfilm reader-printer machines at per-exposure rates. See guidelines in Reading room for details.

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Library Director
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as The Florence Nightingale Levy Papers, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Works by Florence Nightingale Levy at The New-York Historical Society

Letterbook, 1899 - 1946, Manuscript call phrase: BV Levy

Art education in the city of New York: a guidance study, 1938.

Art in New York, 1916, 1927, 1939.

New York. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration Catalogue, 1909.

Guide to the works of art in New York City, 1916.

The American Federation of Arts, 1909 - 1942: an outline of history, 1942.

Bibliography of James Parton Haney's writings on art, compiled by Florence N. Levy, 1924.

Collection processed by

Processed by Courtney O. Lavery

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:49:10 -0400.
Language: Description is in English.

Edition of this Guide

This version was derived from levy.xml


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024