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New York in Color Hardcover – October 1, 2011
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About the Author
Bob Shamis is a photographic historian, independent curator, and photographer. From 1998 to 2006 he was the curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York, where he organized many exhibitions. He lives in New York City.
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Side note: One of my favorite pictures is one where there is this lady standing in the subway, directly under a sign that reads, "Do not stand here." , hilarious.
The city comes alive with color from the fifties onward and Saul Leiter has some great work included, sort of color versions of the influential mono New York School work of the period. Most of the fifties and some of the sixties photos come across with muted colors probably as much to do with the technical aspects of film back then as to do with the subject choice of photographers experimenting with this new medium. The vibrancy and dazzle of color had to wait until the eighties, now it's permanent. There's a stunning shot by Andrew Moore (page sixty-five) of Times Square taken in 2002 that sort of sums up the color image one expects of the city now. Thomas Hoepker's famous 9/11 photo (page 210) and one by Joel Meyerowitz, also from 9/11 (page 217) are also good examples of the documentary color style.
The subject matter of the photos is a mixture of cityscapes, street scenes and a some interiors. A few feature personalities, Gay Talese, Diana Vreeland for example but it is basically the city that comes across so strongly.
The book's square format works well with one photo a page, printed in a 175 screen. There is a minor designer's conceit in having no page numbers on the left-hand pages and on the right-hand pages the number is placed near the book's gutter, a pretty pointless position in my view, especially when a reader uses the Index and then to find a particular page.
'New York in color' is sort of comparable with Taschen's huge, wonderful New York: Portrait Of A City. Both books look at the city using work from the same photographers though the Taschen book is arranged historically and has as many mono photos as color ones.
###LOOK AT SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.