Guide to the Doris Duke Photograph Collection, 1870-2006
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Doris Duke was the only child of James Buchanan (J.B.) Duke, a founder of the American Tobacco Company and Duke Energy Company and a benefactor of Duke University, and Nanaline Holt Duke. Inheriting a bulk of her father's estate in 1925, which included Duke Farms in New Jersey, Rough Point in Newport, R.I., and a mansion in New York City, Doris was soon dubbed by the press as "the richest girl in the world." Although Doris did her best to live a private life, she carried on the Duke family's pattern of philanthropy by contributing to a number of public causes such as the arts, historic preservation, and the environment. Doris Duke died in October 1993 at the age of 80. In her will she left the majority of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Doris Duke Photograph Collection was created by combining color and black and white photographs, slides, negatives, and other photographic formats contained in albums, boxes, picture frames, and envelopes.
- Collection Number
- Doris Duke Photograph collection
- Duke, Doris
- 56.6 Linear Feet, approximately 12,000 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Material in English
- Doris Duke, 1913-1998
- Duke Endowment, 1961-1970
- Duke Farms, 1897-2004
- Duke Gardens, 1958-2000
- Duke Family, 1870-2006
- Falcon Lair, 1953-1998
- General, 1909-2001 and undated
- Newport Restoration Foundation, 1968-1982
- New York Apartments/New York Mansion, 1914-1997
- Rough Point, 1922-2003
- Southeast Asian Art and Culture (SEAAC), 1960-1972
- Shangri La, 1925-1960
The Doris Duke Photograph Collection was created by combining color and black and white photographs, slides, negatives, and other photographic formats contained in albums, boxes, picture frames, and envelopes into groupings closely mirroring the collections that constitute the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives. The collection covers the years 1870 to 2006 and is organized into twelve series: Doris Duke, Duke Endowment, Duke Farms, Duke Gardens, Duke Family, Falcon Lair, General, New York Apartments/New York Mansion, Newport Restoration Foundation, Rough Point, Southeast Asian Art and Culture (SEAAC), and Shangri La.
In cases where the copyright of the image does not belong to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, these are noted in the finding aid and use restrictions/citation information is included when possible.
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
Use & Permissions
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], Doris Duke Photograph Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
This series documents Doris Duke's life from the time she was an infant to a few years before and after her death in 1993. The photographs, slides, and negatives are grouped by topic and therefore do not always share the same creation date nor are they necessarily the same formats. Topics include social events, passport photos, life at her various residences, travel, her time as a war correspondent, her honeymoon, her many animals at the various residences, and her jewelry and dresses. Of particular interest are the color glass mounted slides of Doris Duke's trip to the Middle East in 1938.
RESTRICTED: Access to photographs in group PHDD050 are temporarily restricted and require prior written approval from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to view.
Print PH.DD011a: View to the northeast in front of the west (inland) side of the central block of Wingwood House; Doris Duke Cromwell standing on the lawn, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011b: View to the north on the lawn west (inland) from the central block of Wingwood House; behind Doris Duke Cromwell is the north wing of the house, with the single-story entrance arcade leading to the Porte Cochère (out of this view to the left). Photo taken circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011c: Doris Duke Cromwell sitting on the seawall on the northeast side of Wingwood House, in front of the dock for the Stotesburys’ yacht, Nedeva, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011d: James H.R. Cromwell and Doris Duke Cromwell standing in front of the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011e: Doris Duke Cromwell seated on the seawall on the northeast side of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011f: Doris Duke Cromwell, Edward Townsend Stotesbury, and Louise Brooks Howard (granddaughter of Eva Stotesbury) in front of the west side of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011g: Louise Brooks Howard (granddaughter of Eva Stotesbury), Edward Townsend Stotesbury, Katharine Dahlgren Cromwell (wife of Oliver Eaton Cromwell Jr., son of Eva Stotesbury), and Doris Duke Cromwell, in front of the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011h: Eva Roberts Stotesbury, James H.R. Cromwell, and Doris Duke Cromwell in front of the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011i: Oliver Eaton Cromwell, Jr., Eva Roberts Stotesbury, and James H.R. Cromwell in front of the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011j: Doris Duke Cromwell and Edward Townsend Stotesbury standing under the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937.
Print PH.DD011k: A meal being served on the lawn just outside the west portico of Wingwood House, Bar Harbor, Maine, circa 1936/1937. Persons seated at the table are, (clockwise) starting with the man in the dark coat on the left: James H.R. Cromwell, Louise Brooks Howard, Oliver Eaton Cromwell Jr. (in tan coat, hidden behind Louise Brooks Howard), Doris Duke Cromwell, Katharine Dahlgren Cromwell, and Eva Roberts Stotesbury. Identity of the footman and butler performing the service unknown. Mr. Stotesbury, if present, is hidden behind the others, at the head of the table.
The photographs primarily document events hosted by the Duke Endowment. A majority of the photographs are from an album created for "Miss Doris Duke" by the Duke Endowment which details a luncheon celebrating the Duke Endowment's 40th anniversary.
The images in this series document the transformation of the Duke Farms estate, including original construction and improvements made to the estate. This series primarily consists of black and white and color photographs that detail exterior shots around the estates (including fountains, statues, lakes, bridges and vistas), work on the estate, interior and exterior shots of the main residence and other buildings on the estate, aerial shots, camels Baby and Princess, who spent their summers at the estate, and various events at Duke Farms. Of particular interest are the tinted photographs of Duke Farms scenes dating from the early 1900s.
The photographs and slides in this series document the history of the gardens from its inception to its dissolution. Subjects include the construction phases of transforming the greenhouses to display gardens, repair work to the display gardens, interior shots of the various display gardens (including flowers, statues, fountains, etc.), and a fashion photo shoot in Duke Gardens in 1964. Of particular interest are the color slides and View-Master "reels" of Duke Gardens that were available for purchase.
The series primarily consists of photographs of various immediate Duke family members including James Buchanan (J.B.) and Nanaline Duke and Ben and Sarah Duke. Of particular interest are the black and white photographs and negatives of J.B. Duke's tour of Lake St. John and the Saguenay from Roberval in 1915.
The images in this series are primarily interior and exterior shots of Falcon Lair dating from the time of its purchase by Doris Duke to the time of its sale and the moving out of its belongings.
The general series is the largest of the series and includes all images that do not logically fit into the other series. The subjects of the images vary widely and include photographs of intimates, friends, and acquaintances of Doris Duke, portraits of unknown men and women, dogs at various estates, unknown buildings and gardens, inventories of furniture and art objects, and reproductions of photographs mounted on foam core that were used for various exhibits. Of particular interest are the black and white stereoscopic image manufactured by the Keystone Stereoscopic Service. These were most likely used by Doris Duke to help strengthen her vision.
Photographs in this series primarily document interior and exterior renovations to several NRF homes, and on a lesser scale the inventory of doors and mantels in several homes.
This series primarily document the interiors of the New York Mansion and Doris Duke's apartment at 475 Park Avenue in New York City.
This series includes interior shots of different rooms in Rough Point and exterior views of Rough Point including some of Doris Duke as a child and as an adult. Some of the photographs document home improvements and work progress at Rough Point.
This series primarily documents the lifecycle of SEAAC. It includes color photographs of sculptures and places in Thailand, most probably a trip taken as part of research for SEAAC, the interior of the Coach Barn containing the SEAAC exhibit, and black and white photos of possible acquisitions for SEAAC.
This series documents Doris Duke's life in Hawaii. Images include early construction work of Shangri La, trips that Doris Duke took with her friends prior to the completion of Shangri La, trips around the islands, interior and exterior shots of Shangri La, a professional photo shoot of Doris Duke and her husband James Cromwell, social events including luaus and weddings, and furniture and clothing inventories. Of particular interest are color glass mounted slides of Doris Duke and James Cromwell with basketball team they sponsored in the mid-1930s.