1864 Brown Chromolithograph View of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, 1864. View of the Academy of Music. - Main View

1864 Brown Chromolithograph View of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn


The first BAM.


Brooklyn Sanitary Fair, 1864. View of the Academy of Music.
  1864 (dated)     15.75 x 19.25 in (40.005 x 48.895 cm)


A rare 1864 view of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, when it hosted the 1864 Brooklyn Sanitary Fair - a women-driven fundraising effort during the American Civil War (1861 - 1865). The view looks down Montague Street form Lafayette at the original location of BAM. The original building at 176 Montague was built in 1861 by architect Leopold Eidlitz, a founding member of the American Institute of Architects. This building sadly burnt to the ground in 1903 and was replaced by the current Peter Jay Sharp Building.
The Sanitary Commission and the Civil War
The Sanitary Commission was a private relief agency founded during the American Civil War to raise money for food, clothing, medical supplies, and better conditions for Union Civil War soldiers. The movement was inspired by the British Sanitary Commission founded by Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War (1853 - 1856). Although headed by a small group of men, the Sanitary Commission was largely organized and run by women volunteers.

Fairs were held around the country to raise money for the Sanitary Commission. In 1864, towards the end of the war, an enormous Sanitary Fair was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It raised $400,000, equal to about four million of today's dollars. While scarcely remembered today, the fair was a major success, publicized throughout the Union and celebrated in prints, views, and posters.
Chromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired product. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic results. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing. The vivid color chromolithography produced made it exceptionally effective for advertising and propaganda imagery.
Publication History and Census
This view was drawn and lithographed by Arthur Brown for Henry McCloskey's Brooklyn Manual of 1864. Scarce.


Henry McCloskey (fl. c. 1863 - 1867) was a journalist working in Brooklyn in the mid 19th century. He was the first regular reporter employed by the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and consequently the first true Brooklyn reporter. When the editor Arnold resigned, McCloskey stepped up to the position became Editor-in-chief. An ardent southern sympathizer and fierce advocate of states' rights, McCloskey had no shame in using the Eagle to express his radical political views. In 1861, following the outbreak of the Civil War, McCloskey published a series of aggressive anti-war editorials. Shortly thereafter, the Eagle, along with several other news papers including the New York News, were accused of disloyalty to the Union and denied access to the U.S. Mail system. The charges were dropped when McCloskey resigned shortly afterwards. McCloskey's true interest was government and in 1863 he was voted city clerk for Brooklyn. He retained this position from 1863 to 1867. Both his predecessor and successor seem to have been William Bishop. One of the duties of the city clerk was to publish an annual report detailing the government, progress, urban planning and development of the city. The resulting Manual bearing the McCloskey name was published during his four years of tenure as City Clerk. The first Brooklyn Manual was published in 1855 following the consolidation of the city. The Manual was published under various names and in various forms until 1888. More by this mapmaker...

Arthur A. Brown (July 7, 1827 - June 1, 1895) was a New York lithographer active in the mid to late 19th century. Brown was born in Ireland and emigrated to New York in 1849. At the time of immigration, his occupation was listed as a tailor. By 1855 he appears in the New York State Census as a lithographer. In the 1869s he printed extensively for the City Clerk's office both in Manhattan and Brooklyn. His firm, A. Brown and Company was established around 1860. His office was initially located at 179 Broadway, then 47 Nassau (1863 - 1865), 9 and 11 Thames Street (1866 - 1874), 306 Broadway (1875 - 1881), and 116 Duane Street (1882 - 1894). Brown died in 1895 and is interred in Cyprus Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn. Learn More...


McCloskey, H., Manual of the City and Corporation of Brooklyn, 1864, 1864.    


Average. Map exhibits wear and toning on old fold lines. Several large repaired tears. Laid down on archival tissue for stability.