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Blog Posts by Subject: Photography

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 ›

Meet Your Neighbor & Photographer Ner Beck

On view now through February 26, 2014 at the Bloomingdale Library is NER BECK: West Side Window Reflections. Read More ›

Roy Colmer, in Memoriam

The staff of the Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs were saddened to learn of the passing of Roy Colmer last week. Stephen C. Pinson, The Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Assistant Director for Art, Prints and Photographs, and The Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography, provided the following remembrance of Colmer's life and work.Read More ›

Focus on Stage Lighting: Faust

This week’s post serves as a caption for the alternative image that the Library’s opening web page has been using when it highlights the Vandamm exhibition, Pioneering Poet of Light. Again, the web editors selected well, since the photograph of Faust illustrates the title so well.Read More ›

January Author @ the Library Programs at Mid-Manhattan

A mystical history of NYC below Chambers Street… the link between our financial and environmental crises… the life and photographs of Ansel Adams… our

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Those Mysterious Shadowy Dancers

This post answers a question about the image that the Library’s web page has been using when it highlights the Vandamm exhibition, Pioneering Poet of Light. I was thrilled when the web editors selected it, since it illustrates the title so well. So, here’s an extended caption, with musical accompaniment.

Three’s a Crowd was a revue, presented in the 1930-1931 season. Like The Band Wagon in last week's post, it was choreographed by the brilliantly innovative Albertina Rasch and paired a young Broadway/vaudeville veteran with a European ballet 

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