Sunday, February 19, 2012

The New York Symphony Orchestra at the Exposition Music Hall

The New York Symphony Society was founded by Leopold Damrosch in 1878.  His son Walter became music director following Leopold's death in 1885. New York's Carnegie Hall was completed in 1891, built by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for the exclusive use of the orchestra. In May of 1893, the orchestra performed two concerts at the World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. This poster publicizing the concerts was sold at Swann Galleries in its Vintage Posters sale on February 2. Curiously, the date of the performance noted on this poster is historically incorrect.

According to Wikipedia, the Society's name was not officially changed to the New York Symphony Orchestra until 1903, although this poster suggests this name was in common use at least a decade earlier. In 1928, the Orchestra merged with its rival Philharmonic Society of New York which tended to play more Germanic orchestral works. Today this entity is known as the New York Philharmonic and they still play in Carnegie Hall. Damrosch Park in Lincoln Center is named for Walter Damrosch, who died in 1950.

Sale 2267 Lot 10
DESIGNER UNKNOWN THE NEW YORK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA. 1893. 28 1/4x41 1/2 inches, 72x105 1/2 cm. The Springer Litho. Co., N.Y. Condition B+ / B: expertly recreated bottom margin; extensive expert overpainting in margins; restoration along vertical and horizontal folds; repaired tears at edges. Walter Damrosch and the New York Symphony Orchestra played two concerts at the World's Columbian Exposition (the Chicago World's Fair) in May, 1893. The dates of these concerts has been recorded as the 19th and 20th of May, which suggests either there may have originally been some confusion about when the concerts would take place, or perhaps some of the posters were misprinted. rare 
Estimate $3,000-4,000
Sold for $2,400

Note:  Don't miss my recent post about an autograph musical quotation by Shostakovich here.


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