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Ewing Galloway Collection of Photographs

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: unknown

Biographical History

Ewing Galloway (1881-1953) was an American journalist and photo editor, and ran the Ewing Galloway Agency in New York City. He began his working life as a lawyer in Henderson County, Kentucky working in his spare time for The Gleaner, a county newspaper. Gradually journalism drew more and more of his interest, and after a journalism course at Columbia University in New York he took a series of newspaper jobs that led him to the Midwest, to California, and eventually to Hawaii before he returned home to Kentucky to work again for The Gleaner. After completing his internship there, he returned to New York where he worked as assistant editor for Literary Digest and freelanced on the side. He became photo editor for Collier's and then worked for Underwood and Underwood.

In 1920 he opened his own photographic agency on 28th St. in New York. Although he had relatively few photographs at first, he soon expanded his stock and in 1925 purchased a collection of 8000 images of Africa and Asia. By 1928 the agency was successful enough to expand; in the following years Ewing Galloway branches opened in Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Berlin, and Amsterdam. By handling only general topics as opposed to time-sensitive news photographs, Galloway established a profitable market niche while pioneering the photographic interpretation of industry, transportation, and commerce. He also provided trained photographers for hire for studio or location work. One of these was Maclean Dameron, a respected photographer from Henderson County, Kentucky whom Galloway hired as a full-time associate in 1941.

The "Ewing Galloway" byline that appears under many photographs reproduced in books, magazines, schoolbooks, and encyclopedias, refers to the agency and not to Galloway himself, who learned to operate a camera only later in life. The caption was an advertising device: it could be left off, but the photograph would cost more without it. The lack of records from the company makes it impossible to identify the actual photographers. Nevertheless, the images that survive from the early years of Galloway's agency preserve striking historical glimpses into everyday life, familiar locations, and means of employment. Though produced for journalistic purposes, their fine qualities of composition and execution suggest that a skilled photographer with an artistic eye was standing behind the lens. Though the men -- and perhaps women -- who clicked the shutter remain anonymous, we enter easily into what they saw, at the moment they saw it.

The agency's holdings amounted to some four hundred thousand images by the time of Galloway's death. Today, Ewing Galloway, Inc. manages and markets a portion of the photographic assets of the original agency.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Ewing Galloway Collection of Photographs consists of more than 150 large-format photographs taken by the American photographer. The collection is divided topically. Galloway's own identification number is given in parentheses following each item title.

City scenes includes photographs from New York, Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Little Rock and other urban areas. Most are street scenes (Michigan Boulevard in Chicago, Bagley Avenue in Detroit) though there are a few river and skyline shots. Industry comprises images of American business, including manufacturing, mining, railroad, dairy, refining and steel, among others.

Native American contains individual and group photographs, primarily from the Southwest and Alaska, while Asia contains images from China, Formosa (Taiwan), Japan, Korea, Siam (Thailand), and the Philippines. Foreign covers most of Europe (Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Russia, Spain and Tunis) and Central/South America (Argentina and Mexico).

The most varied selection is found in Human interest: from a superstitious aviatrix with her two dolls to a horse-drawn wagon in Brooklyn, from a prison tower at Sing Sing Correctional Facility to a chemist in his laboratory.

There is also a small series of nine Unnumbered photographs, smaller in dimension and acquired separately at a later date. These represent a variety of the above topics, including New York Harbor, a full-rigger tall ship, a Philippine Islander in traditional dress, St. Gudula's Cathedral in Brussels, and more.

Arrangement of the Collection

Divided topically. The topics, and the photographs within each topic, are in no particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Galloway, Ewing


Indians of North America -- Photographs.
Street life -- Photographs.


Germany -- Pictorial works.
Japan -- Pictorial works.
Korea -- Pictorial works.
New York (N.Y.) -- History and culture.
New York (N.Y.) -- Pictorial works.

Genres and Forms




Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Ewing Galloway Collection of Photographs,
Special Collections Research Center

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mark Jacobson, 1997.

Unnumbered photographs, gift of Ricker Library of Architecture and Art, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2010; Margaret Fox, 2015.

Table of Contents

City scenes


Native American



Human interest

Unnumbered later additions