The Museum’s collections of prints preserves the visual history of New York before the advent of photography and captures the changing images of the city. The collection encompasses engravings, lithographs, and fine art prints. Its cornerstone is the extraordinary J. Clarence Davies Collection of views of New York City from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries, starting from the earliest known view of New Amsterdam, depicted in 1625-26. Another major component of the collection is the definitive Harry T. Peters Collection of 2,885 lithographs—many hand-colored—by the 19th-century New York firm of Currier and Ives.
The Museum also has an outstanding collection of lithographic posters donated by Strobridge & Co. Lith., theatrical posters by artist Otto Lambert Grever, and posters made for the World War I and II war efforts. Additionally, the collection includes a significant body of WPA and other 20th-century prints by such noted printmakers as Don Freeman, Childe Hassam, Armin Landeck, Louis Lozowick, Reginald Marsh, Joseph Pennell, and John Sloan.