The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951
The B&H Event Space (420 9th Ave., Manhattan)
Artists in the Photo League were known for capturing sharply revealing, compelling moments from everyday life. They focused on New York City and its vibrant streets – a shoeshine boy, a brass band on a bustling corner, a crowded beach at Coney Island. Many of the images are beautiful, yet harbor strong social commentary on issues of class, race, and opportunity.
This talk will explore the fascinating blend of aesthetics and social activism practiced at the Photo League, from the Great Depression and World War II to the Red Scare, which brought the progressive organization to an abrupt end. Works by numerous Photo League members, including Berenice Abbott, Aaron Siskind, Lisette Model, Vivian Cherry, W. Eugene Smith, Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, and Weegee, will be discussed.
This program is presented in conjunction with the exhibition at the Jewish Museum.