Noble Maritime Collection and the Alice Austen House present new exhibition ‘Picturing the Water: The Photography of Alice Austen’

silive’s Logo


STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The Noble Maritime Collection in collaboration with the Alice Austen House presents “Picturing the Water: The Photography of Alice Austen,” an exhibition of never-before-exhibited photographs by Alice Austen.

The exhibition will be on view at the Noble Maritime Collection beginning May 18, 2023.

“Alice Austen and John A. Noble share a birthday—March 17—albeit 47 years apart,” noted Ciro Galeno, Jr., Executive Director of the Noble Maritime Collection. “They are Staten Island’s most preeminent historic artists, with a pair of ferries named for them. New York’s working waterfront figured largely in their art and lives, and we are honored to host this exhibition of the subject through Austen’s unique lens, which I am sure Noble would have appreciated.”

Living and working on Staten Island during the Gilded Age, Alice Austen (1866–1952) was one of the first women photographers to work outside the confines of a studio, employing a visionary documentary style that was ahead of its time.

“Picturing the Water” explores Austen’s deep connection to both local and international waterways and the vessels that traverse them. The newly printed photographs, reproduced from Austen’s glass plate and hand-printed photographs, will be framed in John A. Noble’s signature handmade frames, reflecting on parallels between the artists’ visions.

This exhibition was guest-curated by Alice Austen House Executive Director Victoria Munro with collections assistance by Kristine Allegretti.

Courtesy Noble Maritime Collection and Alice Austen House

E. Alice Austen, Ribs of wreck, 1896. Collection of Historic Richmond Town.

“When the Noble museum asked me to curate an exhibition of Austen’s photographs for their galleries, I was thrilled to make connections between Austen’s and Noble’s legacies.” Victoria Munro, Executive Director Alice Austen House said. “This project gave me and the Alice Austen Collections Director Kristine Allegretti the opportunity to research the vast archive of maritime images that Austen captured.

“This revealed a collection of over 1,000 images that have rarely been viewed and opened a doorway to explore Austen’s intrinsic connection to the waterways of her front door and her travels. I hope viewers will take away an understanding of Austen’s professional dedication to her medium and her bold unconventional determination to capture the magnificent beauty of the open water and vessels that inhabit it.”

This exhibition was made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts, with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; and by a grant from the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Courtesy Noble Maritime Collection and Alice Austen House

E. Alice Austen, [Boy in a rowboat], n.d. Collection of Historic Richmond Town.

The Noble Maritime Collection, located in Building D, a former mariners’ dormitory at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Livingston, and is open from noon to 5 p.m., Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is a monetary donation.

Alice Austen House Museum members will be offered free admission to the Noble Maritime Collection during regular gallery hours throughout the run of the Picturing the Water exhibition.

For more information, call 718-447-6490 or visit

The Alice Austen House Museum is located at 2 Hylan Blvd., Rosebank, and is open Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Admission is $6 per person.

For more information, call 718-816-4506 or visit