Snapshots of New York City Street Scenes, 1936-1951

For fifteen years the New York Photo League — a gathering of amateur and professional photographers, most of them Jewish, first-generation Americans — explored the streets of their metropolis, with camera in hand. They wanted to capture an off-the-cuff side to their urban landscape — a grittier slice of life. “Their solidarity centered on a belief in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and on a progressive alliance in the 1930s of socialist ideas and art.” Now, 61 years later, their works are being exhibited at The Jewish Museum in New York City. The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951 runs until March 25 and shares the League’s look at the ordinary people around them, who are fascinating to behold. You can learn more about the exhibition on The Jewish Museum website, but catch a preview of the show in our gallery below where street scenes and strangers are viewed with a wondrous eye.

Sid Grossman, Coney Island, c. 1947, gelatin silver print. The Jewish Museum,
New York, Purchase: The Paul Strand Trust for the benefit of Virginia Stevens Gift. ©
Howard Greenberg Gallery.