Villas on the Hudson represents the first large-scale use of photo-lithography in the United States, a medium which did not come into general use for another two decades. Its views are based on photographs made by A.A. Turner of large homes along the Hudson from upper Manhattan Island to Dobbs Ferry, mainly summer or pleasure homes of wealthy New Yorkers, and often exhibiting extravagant or playful architecture. The villas are remarkably lavish. Turner took the pictures in 1858 and 1859, and this work appeared on the eve of the Civil War. All of the views have at least one additional color, and most have two (either brown or green, or both) applied by stencil, with the picture inside a gilt printed border.
Austin Augustus Turner was employed as an operator at the photography gallery of B.F. Campbell in Boston, Massachusetts. By 1854, he moved to New York City, where he worked at Mathew B. Brady’s photography gallery for a brief period. After stays in Paris (where he became familiar with the new advances in photomechanical printing), Boston, and Lynchburg, Virginia, Turner finally resettled in New York where he established a business in partnership with D. Appleton & Company specializing in photolithography. He is best known for this book.
Goldschmidt Lucien et al. The Truthful Lens : A Survey of the Photographically Illustrated Book 1844-1914. 1st ed. Grolier Club 1980