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Blog Posts by Subject: Photography

Then & Now: Dinanda Nooney in 1970s Brooklyn

Between January 1978 and April 1979, Nooney networked her way through Brooklyn documenting residences and their occupants, asking each for a referral to another willing subject. Over 150 families or individuals entrusted her to capture glimpses into their private worlds and personal tastes.Read More ›

A Photographic Bible Fit for a Queen

Frith made his photographs available in various formats that suited different budgets, from inexpensive stereographs to multi-volume books illustrated with tipped-in albumen prints. His books are currently on view in the Library’s exhibition, Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography.Read More ›

Podcast #42: Thomas Struth on Collective Memory and Family Photos

During his conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Struth challenged the cliché that photography is deceptive, preferring to focus on the interpretive work of the viewer or viewers. Read More ›

Sharing Is Caring: A Photographic Locket of Mr. and Mrs. General Tom Thumb

The Photography Collection has recently acquired a rare brass locket containing twelve miniature albumen prints of the famous couple made shortly after their wedding. Read More ›

Artist Q&A: Ner Beck’s NYC Found Faces & Window Reflections

We welcome back Ner Beck to the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library for his exhibit NYC Found Faces & Window Reflections, on view through November 5th, 2014.Read More ›

Art Books: Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books By Ed Ruscha

“In plain sight, but overlooked, the gas station excites interest in Ruscha” (p. 21), but also serves as a document of the everyday world that co-exists with our routine and triggers our nostalgia as we see it change over time. Read More ›

August Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Philosophical inquiry at the movies… a looming retirement crisis… familiar New York landmarks seen from unexpected angles… the birth of NYC’s power system… the language hoax… the hidden history of the mob in NYC… Tomorrow-Land, the 1964-1965 World’s Fair… the great Boston - New York subway race… the Kitty Genovese murder… the inventor of electric traction… the hospice movement… the makers of modern Manhattan…Read More ›

How to Find Historical Photos of New York City

Researchers commonly seek photographs of places in New York as they once existed in history. HistoryPin.com and WhatWasThere.Com have done admirable work in placing historic photos in their geographic context, however they represent but a fraction of available photos, and associated descriptive metadata can vary in accuracy and precision.Read More ›

July Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

Gangsters and true crime, New York City history, financial literacy, MacArthur, FDR, Khrushchev, Lindsay, Main Street, U.S.A., travel, learning and self-discovery, climate change, foreign policy, the collective afterlife, and great pizza are among the wide-ranging topics coming up at our Author @ the Library talks in July 2014! We hope you’ll join us for insightful discussions with the authors of these 

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Meet Ner Beck, NYC Street Photographer

On view now through August 26, 2014, is NER BECK’s NYC Street Oddities: A Photo Exhibit. Over 30 recent photographs are on display at the Grand Central Branch of the New York Public Library. Ner has had a lifelong interest in overlooked street art found on his daily walks in neighborhoods throughout the city. Also on display are a few select photos of colorful prism-like reflections on windows from another of Ner's collections. Ner recently answered some questions I had about his work, his inspriation and, of course, selfies. Read More ›

Vandamm in Color and Colour

Florence Vandamm was one of the greats of black and white photography, capable of modulating infinite gradations of greys. The Vandamm Theatrical Photograph Collection, and the prints elsewhere in the research divisions, support that judgment. But that doesn't mean that she and the studio didn't shoot in color. Not so. She studied and practiced color photography.Read More ›

Art Books: Mother by Elinor Carucci

When mothers think about mothering, there are a certain set of emotions that come rolling over them combined with images of their children that are not always smiling and cute. It is more often a warm hand reaching for yours, a tear-wetted cheek pressing your arm, the waking in the middle of the night, an open mouth showing you missing teeth. So, when I opened Elinor Carucci’s book of photography called Mother, I was welcomed into a familiar world.Read More ›

Children's Literary Salon in Retrospect: Photography on March 1, 2014

Photography has historically been rare in children's books, but it seems to be gaining in popularity. We had an interesting discussion in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building about this topic. Panelists included the following photographers: Nina Crews,

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Florence Vandamm: Dance Photographer?

The representation of the professional and artistic career of Florence Vandamm has a major gap, which we are doing our best to fill in. Her London scrapbook goes from 1908–1915. The Vandamm Theatrical Photographs collection documents her work in New York City, from 1924 on. We have filled in some of the gap with the Sybil Thorndike material (see earlier posts) and discoveries of images printed in magazines, such as British and New York Vogue, Vanity Fair and The Spur.Read More ›

The Original Circle in the Square Photographers: An Interview with Justin and Barbara Kerr

Photographs from the Circle in the Square Papers provide a one-of-a-kind record of nearly all of the hundreds of productions mounted on the Circle’s round stage during its five-decade history. Founded in 1951, the Circle in the Square became one of the key theaters in the Off-Broadway movement.Read More ›

Vandamm's Pygmalion

By the time that you read this post, the exhibition Pioneering Poet of Light: Florence Vandamm & the Vandamm Studio will have been de-installed. The photograph and key sheets will be returned to the Performing Arts Library divisions. But the blogging will continue since there are thousands of photographs representing thousands of shows, dances and people.Read More ›

March Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

A new approach to health care reform ... 20 years of Harlem Street Portraits ... humanist architecture ... The Extreme Life of the Sea ... New York City's unbuilt subways ... mothers ... the power of storytelling ... a century of candy ... New York's lost amusement parks ... the public library ... 11 missing men of WWII ... great city planning.Read More ›

Power: The American Way

George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, co-authors of some of Broadway’s most enduringly funny comedies, also collaborated on a topical pageant, The American Way, which opened at Broadway’s Center Theater, January 1939.Read More ›

Absurd Vintage Skating Photos Even Non-Sports Fans Will Love

So you think you can figure skate? Are you photogenic? Can you tolerate the cold? Let these vintage figure skating photos be your guide.Read More ›

Vandamm and Machinal

Machinal is back on Broadway. Sophie Treadwell’s best known play is enjoying a successful revival at the Roundabout Theater. Although a journalist, Treadwell used elements of experimental playwriting to show the central character stuck on the machinery that limited the lives of 1920s women. Her choices doom her. Go to see it if you can.Read More ›
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