Pablo Delano, “Dancers at Dominican Day Parade,” Midtown, 1994-1995. Museum of the City of New York, 20211.15.15. Courtesy of Pablo Delano
A photo installation that captures the essence of New York City is opening this month. The Museum of the City of New York will open the new exhibition, “Celebrating the City: Recent Acquisitions from the Joy of Giving Something,” on February 18. The series features roughly 100 photographs selected from more than 1,000 that were recently gifted to the East Harlem museum by Joy of Giving Something, a non-profit organization devoted to photography.
Berenice Abbott, Stanton and Orchard Streets, 1936. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.1.
The “Celebrating the City” series features works from more than 30 creators that are new to the museum’s collection. Highlights of the exhibition include Helen Levitt’s celebrated street photography, Slyvia Plachy’s depiction of the people, animals, and moments of NYC, and Michael Spano’s city shots from the 1990s and 2000s.
The exhibition also features work by key figures in the history of photography, including Ilse Bing, Bruce Davidson, Mitch Epstein, Elliot Erwitt, Robert Frank, William Kline, Saul Leiter, Alfred Stieglitz, Rosalind Solomon, and Paul Strand, among others.
Inge Morath, “A Llama in Times Square,” 1957. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.277. Courtesy of the Estate of Inge Morath
Stephen Barker, “Nightswimming,” 1993-1994. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.9. Courtesy of Daniel Cooney Fine Art, NYC, and Stephen Barker.
Mitch Epstein, Untitled [New York #9], 1996. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.96, Courtesy of Mitch Epstein
The collection is organized into ten categories, including photos related to working, shopping, playing, gathering, loving, being, reflecting, and building. All of the images illustrate the universality of the city, offering museum guests the opportunity to compare how famous photographers have returned to the same subjects repeatedly.
Arthur D. Chapman, East River, New York, 1914. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.44.
Ken Hayman, “Dogs’ Last Swim in Central Park Lake, New York,” 1985. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.94. Courtesy of the Estate of Ken Heyman.
“Photographs of New York are instantly recognizable and help us celebrate and elevate the many stories of our vibrant city that might otherwise go unnoticed,” Whitney Donhauser, Ronay Menschel Director of MCNY, said.
“As we continue to emerge from the challenges of the COVID pandemic, this magnificent gift from the Joy of Giving Something dramatically advances MCNY’s already stellar 400,000+ image photography collection and gives us an even greater ability to share the stories of our beloved city and its inhabitants.”
Rebecca Norris Webb, Brooklyn, NY [From the series, “The Glass Between Us], 2000. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.633, Courtesy of Rebecca Norris Webb
Mitch Epstein, Untitled [New York #3], 1995. Museum of the City of New York. Gift of Joy of Giving Something, Inc., 2020.10.115. Courtesy of Mitch Epstein
“Celebrating the City” also draws pieces from the MCNY’s collection that represents the museum’s commitment to representing the diversity of NYC. Works by Jamel Shabazz, An Rong Xu, and Annie Ling’s show daily life in Chinatown, with work by Máximo Colón showing life on the Lower East Side, and Pablo Delano’s photos of Washington Heights.
“JGS is extremely pleased to donate a substantial group of prints from our collection to the Museum of the City of New York. Most of the work in our donation features New York as subject and it is a great match that the photographs stay in New York to be enjoyed by audiences far and wide,” Jeffrey Hoone, president of Joy of Giving Something, said in a statement.
“New York continues to be a subject for photographic artists from around the world and JGS is proud to help continue that legacy as we support younger artists through our many different programs. We applaud the Museum for their forward-thinking programs and their commitment to preserving and celebrating New York as a vibrant subject for photographers past, present, and future.”
- A permanent immersive art center will open inside a Lower Manhattan landmark this summer
- New Morris-Jumel Mansion photo exhibit preserves the faces of historic Washington Heights
- New York’s first-ever Lenape-curated exhibition to open at the Brooklyn Public Library in Greenpoint
Neighborhoods : East Harlem