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I SEE A CITY: TODD WEBB'S NEW YORK ED. BY BETSY EVANS HUNT
I SEE A CITY: TODD WEBB'S NEW YORK
AN EVOCATIVE PORTRAIT OF NEW YORK CITY IN THE 1940s AND 1950s
BY MASTER DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHER TODD WEBB (1905-2000)
ESSAYS BY SEAN CORCORAN AND DANIEL OKRENT
EDITED BY BETSY EVANS HUNT
November 30th, 5-7pm
Todd Webb Archive, 61 Pleasant St, Suite 104A, Portland, ME 04101
Longfellow Books will be selling books at this event.
I See a City: Todd Webb's New York (Thames & Hudson, November 21, 2017) presents the master documentary photographer's intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of the everyday life and architecture of New York in the years following World War II. Armed with a large format camera and tripod, Webb walked around New York day and night, in all seasons and weather, engaging with the people and the landscape surrounding him. He captured in his candid and inimitable way a city of contrasts -- Midtown skyscrapers, the elevated train tracks along Third Avenue, quirky signs and storefronts, food vendors and open air markets, and the bustling street life in the Bowery, Harlem near 125th Street, and old ethnic enclaves in Lower Manhattan.
Todd Webb loved to work at street level giving him a more human vantage point. His work is clear, direct and layered with light and shadow, capturing the soul of New York's distinct neighborhoods shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity. The November publication of I See a City follows on the heels of A City Seen: Todd Webb's Postwar New York, 1945-1960 at the Museum of the City of New York (April 20 - September 4, 2017) where Webb had his first solo show in September of 1946 arranged by Beaumont Newhall.
In the press release for the 1946 exhibition, Newhall wrote: "[Todd Webb] has seen our city not as a glittering megalopolis, but as a community. He has chosen to focus mainly upon Third Avenue and those blocks where the shops are small and living quarters crowded. He works with swift precision, directly and honestly recording what he sees. His straightforward, un-manipulated contact prints convey a maximum sense of authenticity and are historical records of obvious documentary value. More than this, they are personal interpretations, through which he has imparted to us warmth of appreciation and the excitement of visual discovery. He brings out the human quality even when the people are absence."