Mother and daughter in Flatbush
An online gallery from the New York Public Library provides a stunning glimpse into domestic life in Brooklyn in the 1970s, courtesy of photographer Dinanda Nooney, who traveled through the borough from January 1978 to April 1979, capturing locals in their homes and asking them to then suggest other subjects. The black-and-white photos range from everyday scenes of Brooklynites to the residence of a local celebrity biker to the childhood home of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
The photo of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s childhood home shows his parents, Nora Fitzpatrick and Gerard Basquiat, with his two sisters in their Park Slope living room at 533 Pacific Street. Absent from the photo, Basquiat was 18 at the time.
Even back in the ’70s Brooklyn was home to a maker culture. This photo shows a live-in stained glass studio at 50 Prospect Place.
Johnny Redd was a former cop who owned both a plumbing and private investigation business. But he was best known around town for his bejeweled motorcycle. Nooney took seven photos of his home in Clinton Hill at 416 Waverly Avenue, one with his wife and daughter.
Other quirky images include a woman presenting her large doll collection, a woman swinging from a pole in her home, and a teenager with her cat and giant camera replica.
But of course, the unifying theme of the photo collection is family in its many forms and how we cohabitate. You can see all 570 photos in the Nooney collection here, and check out the map created by the NYPL that plots Dinanda’s photo locations.
All photos © Dinanda Nooney for the NYPL