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COLLECTION Identifier: VSCO 44

Osvaldo Böhm collection of Venetian art and architecture, 1860-ca. 1988


Photographic prints of art and architecture in Venice and the Veneto; includes some general city views and street scenes. Photographed by Osvaldo Böhm, Carlo Naya, and others.


  • 1860- 1988

Physical Description

Extent is approximate.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Please contact Special Collections, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction and/or publication of materials subject to copyright requires written permission from a) the copyright owner, his/her heirs or assigns and from b) the Fine Arts Library, owner of the original material.


1 collection (ca. 15,000 black and white photographic prints in 61 boxes)
Images of buildings in Venice and the Veneto, primarily palazzi and churches; most are exterior views. Street scenes, showing the architectural fabric of Venice and offering a sense of the daily activities of its inhabitants. Images of paintings, sculptures, architectural details, and decorative arts located in the palazzi, churches, and public galleries of Venice and the Veneto.

Biographical / Historical

Carlo Naya, a lawyer and well-traveled amateur photographer, established a commercial studio in Venice around 1860. For more than two decades, he and his staff provided architectural views, scenes of daily life, and images of the artistic treasures in Venice and Veneto for scholars, residents, tourists, and for export. Following his death in 1882, the firm continued to revise and renew its catalogue (sometimes called the Naya Archive) to supply the photographic market. In 1920, Osvaldo Böhm (an art critic, photographer, and publisher from Padua) purchased the Naya Archive and opened a photography business in Venice, continuing the work of Naya and his associates. The firm O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore remained active at least until the late 1980s. Its store of images is known as the Archivio Naya-Böhm, or the Naya-Böhm Archive.


Arranged first by location, then by name of structure, then (where applicable) by artist or individual work of art within the structure. The alphabet has been divided into three series, one of them devoted to Venice. A fourth series includes a small number of photographs not arranged by location.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore in a number of installments, ending in the 1980's. No further accruals are expected. The Böhm collection was acquired to provide a comprehensive inventory and history of Venetian art and architecture, in support of teaching.

Related Materials

An undetermined number of other photographic prints acquired from O. Böhm Fotgrafo-Editore, and depicting the same subject matter, are part of the Fine Arts Library's Core Photograph Collection. They have been mounted on cardboard and cataloged individually. The Core Photograph Collection is organized and arranged according to the Fine Arts Library classification scheme by building or artist. These related prints were created towards the earlier end of the time span 1860-ca. 1988, while prints in the collection here described tend to be later.

For 88 additional photographic prints from O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore, representing art objects in the 1971 exhibition titled "Arte a Venezia dal medioevo al settecento," see Hollis no. 10572283.

  • Zannier, Italo. Venice, the Naya Collection. Venice : O. Böhm, c1981.
  • O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore. Catalogo delle fotografie dell'Archivio Naya-Böhm delle chiese e delle scuole di Venezia. Venezia : O. Böhm, c1983.
  • O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore. Catalogo delle fotografie dell'Archivio Böhm delle chiese e delle scuole di Venezia eseguite negli 1983-1987. Venezia : O. Böhm, c1987.
  • O. Böhm Fotografo-Editore. Catalogo delle fotografie dell'Archivio Naya-Böhm della Basilica e del Tesoro di S. Marco a Venezia. Venezia : O. Böhm, c1988.

Processing Information

Inventory created by Joanne Bloom in 2005, from a preliminary list.
Link to catalog
Böhm, O. (Osvaldo). Osvaldo Böhm collection of Venetian art and architecture: Finding Aid
Fine Arts Library, Harvard Library

Repository Details

Part of the Fine Arts Library Repository

The Fine Arts Library is among the leading libraries in the world for the study of art, architecture, and visual culture from antiquity to the present. Since 1895, FAL has served the needs of the visual arts community at Harvard, providing research and curricular support for all areas in the history of art, architecture, photography, and the decorative arts. FAL's archival collections may be consulted in the Special Collections Study Room, which is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM - 5 PM.

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