Greatest New York.
1911 (dated) 11 x 27.75 in (27.94 x 70.485 cm)
This is a 1911 Henry Wellge bird's-eye view of New York City and environs. The view depicts the region from Newark and Passaic, New Jersey to Long Island and the Atlantic Ocean and from the Harlem River to Staten Island. Beautifully illustrated, myriad buildings throughout the region are rendered. Although individual buildings are not labeled, some landmarks, particularly the bridges over the East River and the Statue of Liberty are easily recognizable. Central and Riverside Park are shockingly open spaces in the otherwise cramped borough of Manhattan. Ships and boats of all sizes ply the waters of the East and Hudson Rivers and the Upper Bay. The docks in Red Hook, Gravesend Bay, Coney Island, and Jamaica Bay are identifiable in Brooklyn. The factories in Bayonne and other parts of New Jersey are easily noticed, highlighted by the large plumes of smoke rising from their smokestacks. The region's railroads are also illustrated, some of which are labeled.
Publication History and CensusThis view was drawn by Henry Wellge, printed by Julius Bien and Company, and published by the New York Times Company in 1911. There are three examples of this view in institutional collections at the New York Public Library, Yale University, and the University of Michigan.
Henry Wellge (1850 – 1923) was an American panoramic bird's-eye view publisher, artist, and cartographer active in Milwaukee in the late 19th and early 20th century. Wellge was born in Germany in 1850. His first view, in 1878, was of Chilton Wisconsin, but most of his early work is in association with J. J. Stoner, another prolific view maker. Eventually established his own firm Henry Wellge and Company. Later his published and Norris, Wellge and Company. Ultimately though, most of his work appears under the imprint of the American Publishing Company. He continued to publish views until about 1910 with about 152 vies bearing his imprint. Wellge is known for large dramatic views illustrated with emphasis on the horizontal dimension.
Julius (Julien) Bien (September 27, 1826 - December 21, 1909) was a German-Jewish lithographer and engraver based in New York City. Bien was born in Naumburg, Germany. He was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts, Cassell and at Städel's Institute, Frankfurt-am-Main. Following the suppression of the anti-autocratic German Revolutions of 1848, Bien, who participated in the pan-German movement, found himself out of favor in his home country and joined the mass German immigration to the United States. Bien can be found in New York as early as 1849. He established the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company in New York that focused on the emergent chromo-lithograph process - a method of printing color using lithographic plates. His work drew the attention of the U.S. Government Printing Office which contracted him to produce countless government maps and surveys, including the Pacific Railroad Surveys, the census, numerous coast surveys, and various maps relating to the American Civil War. Bien also issued several atlases both privately and in conjunction with a relation, Joseph Bien. At the height of his career Bien was elected president of the American Lithographers Association. After his death in 1909, Bien's firm was taken over by his son who promptly ran it to insolence. The firm was sold to Sheldon Franklin, who, as part of the deal, readied the right to printer under the Julius Bien imprint. In addition to his work as a printer, Bien was active in the New York German Jewish community. He was director of the New York Hebrew Technical Institute, the New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and president of the B'nai B'rith Order.
Good. Exhibits soiling and cracking. Blank on verso.