Collecting New York’s Stories: Stuyvesant to Sid Vicious exhibition opens today at the Museum of the City of New York. Yesterday, Sean Corcoran, MCNY Curator of Prints & Photographs took a moment to highlight the gallery of historic and contemporary photographs showcased with New York Said’s Amon Focus. The audio interview can be heard below:
Featured here are a few of the photographs from the Collecting New York’s Stories: Stuyvesant to Sid Vicious exhibition which opens January 22, 2020 at the Museum of the City of New York.
Richard Sandler, CC Train, 1985
Richard Sandler is a street photographer and documentary filmmaker. He has directed and shot eight non-fiction films, including “The Gods of Times Square,” “Brave New York” and “Radioactive City.”
Jeffrey Henson Scales, Buy Black, 1986–1992
Jeffrey Henson Scales is a photographer, illustrator, editor, and is a photography editor at The New York Times. Currently there he is the photography editor of the Sunday Review, and the Food sections.He is also co-editor of the annual, Year In Pictures section for both print and online editions, as well as an illustrator for the newspaper. He curates The New York Times, photography column, “Exposures.” His most recent book, “House,” documents life in a legendary Harlem barbershop over the course of six years, and his most recent project, “Soho’s New Geeks” appeared in The New York Times Sunday Style section in 2017.
Janette Beckman, RUN DMC & Posse, 1984
Janette Beckman is a British documentary photographer who currently lives in New York City. Beckman describes herself as a documentary photographer. While she produces a lot of work on location (such as the cover of The Police album Zenyatta Mondatta, taken in the middle of a forest in the Netherlands), she is also a studio portrait photographer. Her work has appeared on records for the major labels, and in magazines including Esquire, Rolling Stone, Glamour, Italian Vogue, The Times, Newsweek, Jalouse, Mojo and others.
Erik Falkensteen, Two Men and a Shadow, 1965
Born in Denmark, Erik Falkensteen came to NYC in the 1960’s it was still really NYC. He began a photo odyssey, which took him from the streets 1960’s-70’s Manhattan, to a very recent post-Jim Crow south, to Eastern Europe and Africa. Erik shot everything from everyday New Yorkers, to African presidents (Jomo Kenyatta, Julius Nyerere), folk singers (Pete Seeger) the Berlin Wall, and strange little boys named Kimathi.
Martha Cooper, Boy Jumping from Fire Escape, 1978
From 1977 until 1980, Martha Cooper worked as a staff photographer for the New York Post. Between daily assignments, Cooper began to document unsupervised children playing amidst the rubble and disintegrating neighborhoods of New York (primarily the Lower East Side). The photographs focus on the activities of children playing and being creative on New York City streets, and largely depict groups of children building toys or playing with found objects in the days before video games and computers. In today’s day and age when unsupervised play in city streets is a rarity, these photographs reflect a time that was not so long ago, but a radically different approach to social norms and child rearing. The Museum of the City of New York recently acquired a selection of twenty photographs from this series for its permanent collection.
Walter Rosenblum, Boy on Roof, 1938
Walter Rosenblum has spent over sixty years making photographs that celebrate the intimacies of family, the innocence and optimism of youth, and the dignity of poor people. Early in his career, he was influenced by the work of Paul Strand and Lewis Hine, both of whom were mentors of the Photo League in New York. At the age of nineteen, Rosenblum began a longtime association with this organization, which was dedicated to socially concerned documentary photography. He remained active in the Photo League, as chair of the exhibition committee, as a league officer, and as the editor of its journal, Photo Notes, until the league disbanded in 1952.
Joe Conzo, JDL of the Cold Crush Brothers, 1981
Born and raised in the Bronx, Joe Conzo acquired a flair for photography at the age of 9 while attending the Agnes Russell School on the campus of Columbia University; later, advancing those skills at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He grew up at the heels of his grandmother – a dynamic leader and passionate activist within the minority community of the South Bronx – the late Dr. Evelina Antonetty. His father, Joe Conzo Sr., was a long-time confidant and historian for the late “King of Latin Music” Tito Puente. Exposure to these “politically and culturally charged” worlds had a profound effect on how he viewed his environment through the lens of a camera.
Bruce Davidson, Subway, 1980
In 1980 Bruce Davidson began photographing the New York subway system, venturing regularly into this intoxicating, sometimes dangerous subterranean world. At first Davidson photographed in black and white, but he soon realized color was necessary to depict the intensity of this graffiti-covered landscape. Originally published in 1986, this updated Steidl edition of Subway is printed from new scans of Davidson’s Kodachrome slides and features additional images.
“I wanted to transform the subway from its dark, degrading, and impersonal reality into images that open up our experience again to the color, sensuality, and vitality of the individual souls that ride it each day” – Bruce Davidson
More on the Exhibition
Collecting New York’s Stories: Stuyvesant to Sid Vicious features highlights drawn from the hundreds of additions to the Museum’s permanent collection over the past three years, running the gamut from the colonial era to the recent past. A gallery of historic and contemporary photographs, currently open, showcases works by both well-known and emerging artists, including Janette Beckman, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Ruddy Roye, Richard Sandler, Gail Thacker, James Van Der Zee, Harvey Wang, and many others. A companion gallery, opening January 22, 2020, presents original drawings by long-time New Yorker illustrator Saul Steinberg alongside gifts of garments, posters, decorative arts objects, and many other artifacts speaking to the everyday life of the city. Together, these beautiful, eclectic, and poignant images and objects illuminate the compelling and layered identity of New York and its stories.
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., Open Daily 10am–6pm