Life of the City: New York Photographs from The Museum of Modern Art
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Edited by Sarah Hermanson Meister.
The vitality of New York City--its energy, ambition and beauty--has long inspired great photographers, from Berenice Abbott to Garry Winogrand, from Lisette Model to Lee Friedlander. Composed of works selected from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, Life of the City celebrates the great and continuing tradition of photography about New York. Featuring work by Harry Callahan, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irving Penn, Alfred Stieglitz, Weegee and many others, and including a chapter of writings by notable observers of the city, the book explores the drama of New York's architecture, ranging from cavernous brick canyons and towering stone pinnacles to humble storefronts and tenements. It captures the city's glittering lights--outdoors on the skyline and in the flash of speeding cars, indoors at a string of the urban venues where people come together, from nightclubs and jazz rooms to society galas and parties. Most of all there are New Yorkers themselves--the city's bakers and builders, its politicians and policemen, its solitary nighttime strollers, its morning crowds of pedestrians hurrying to work, its children so beautifully memorialized by Helen Levitt, its in-turned individuals who, in the photographs of Cindy Sherman, seem to be living out some cultural myth of what it means to belong in and to one of America's greatest urban centers.