About the Archive
The Alexander Artway Archive contains approximately 3,000 vintage prints and 4,000 negatives. Housed in Philadelphia, the Archive stives to research and promote the photography of Alexander Artway.
Alexander Artway's work is in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
About Alexander Artway
Alexander Artemiev was born March 25, 1903 in Gomel, Belarus, Russia. He was the youngest of nine children. As a teenager he fought in the White Army and was wounded in his left leg. He fled and went into exile in Europe (Belgrade, Prague, Paris) for years until he was able to enter America. He entered on Ellis Island in June of 1922 under the name Alexander Artway.
He remained in New York City for the next 18 years. He joined the Merchant Marines and later became a captain of ships and sailed around the world taking pictures.
He saw much more of the world than the average person of these times and led a rather unconventional life.
Artway was fascinated by the skyscrapers going up. He photographed New York's iconic structures from every angle and rooftop, and perhaps even from airplanes. He attended NYU and earned a degree in architecture in 1934.
Away from all family but his brother John, who lived in Brooklyn, Artway had to seek out new connections. He found Lena, a woman whose family was still in Ukraine. The two explored the city together and carried on an affair that lasted many years.
Artway photographed nearly compulsively for about 15 years and only slowed down after the birth of his first child. In Philadelphia he became a true family man, and the photographs after 1942 are reflective of Artway’s newfound identity.
Membership and Representation
The Alexander Artway Archive is a member of the American Photography Archives Group (APAG) and attends their annual conference.