Three photographers, and three views of the Flatiron

Edward Steichen, The Blue-Green Flatiron (courtesy the Met) The Metropolitan Museum of Art‘s new exhibit on three masters of early 20th Century photography “Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand” says as much about New York as it does the three subjects themselves. And many pictures have nothing to do with the city. Alfred Stieglitz became the maestro of… Read More

Little monsters overheads: gazing at New York gargoyles

Above: a freaky face hanging from the former mansion of Sinclair Oil tycoon Harry F. Sinclair (today, the Ukrainian Institute at 2 East 79th St.)Here’s a great little diversion for your day — the photo website Gargoyles of New York, cataloguing all the grotesque grace adorning the nooks and corners of city skyscrapers, cathedrals and… Read More

The greatest kiss in New York City history

Edith Shain, the Kissing Nurse, Dies at 91 Photo Life Magazine

Why enjoy your childhood when you can shine shoes?

Another day older (seven or eight years old, to be exact) and deeper in debt: the daily grind of the young bootblack at City Hall Park, photos by Lewis Wickes Hine, dated July 25, 1924. (Courtesy LOC) Hine was a social reformer, similar to Jacob Riis, who used photography to illustrate the reality of poverty… Read More

1855 New York City Hall: the Earliest View

The picture above, taken in 1855, may be the oldest existent photograph of New York’s City Hall building. This is three years before the famous fire, caused by celebratory fireworks, destroyed the cupola and crown. The year this picture was taken, Fernando Wood became mayor of New York’s, beginning a dominance of Tammany Hall that… Read More

On the Waterfront, in photographs

Above: Diane Cook’s dreamy “Little Red Lighthouse, Fort Washington Park, Manhattan, 2002” You can see the picture above and lots of other impossibly good-looking pictures at the Museum of the City of New York‘s new show The Edge of New York: Waterfront Photographs. The exhibition features an array of images from all eras of New… Read More

Picture Perfect: Irving Underhill captures New York style

Top: the Brooklyn Bridge in 1925. Bottom: Underhill on the boardwalk: the photographer captures a seemingly meloncholy day in Coney Island, with Childs Restaurant at right Nobody in New York’s early history captures the romance of early city life more than the first photographers — the men and women who wiled away with expensive, limited… Read More

Broadway snapshot: Photography Temple of Art

I’m busily working a new podcast which will be available by tonight. In the meantime, enjoy this really old photograph of the extravagent photo studio of Charles D. Fredricks, sometimes known simply as C.D Fredricks. This picture of his ‘Temple of Art’ was taken, according to the National Archives, in 1850, although I believe it… Read More