Growing Up in New York
"Over the years, I have worked as staff and freelance photographer for a wide variety of publications. My assignments and my independent projects took me all over and under the city, always searching for the human face of New York. I photographed people on the subways and on the beach in Coney Island, painters on the Brooklyn Bridge, kids swimming in the East River; I photographed the night life and the violence, the working class and the upper class. In those days I traveled all around the city at any time of day or night, and except for rare instances I seldom felt in danger. The city was my home. As I look back at the work that I did during that period I realize that I was witness to a time that no longer exists, a more innocent time. While I know that the city has changed, that the streets are dirtier and meaner, the energy that I love is still there. No matter where I go, I keep coming back to photograph New York. Of course the "good old days" were not all sweetness and light. There was poverty, racism, corruption, and violence in those days, too, but somehow we believed in the possible. We believed in hope."
~Arthur Leipzig, from the preface to his book, Growing Up in New York.
Soulcatcher Studio is proud to offer Arthur Leipzig's iconic photographs to our clientele. Mr. Leipzig's photographs illustrate the grand tradition of the classic street photographer. For fifty years he has been roaming the streets of New York, capturing its moods, recording its faces, and documenting its myriad of activities. In particular, he created a body of work that focused on the daily lives of people in New York City from the 1940s through the 1950s. This work reflects an era of tremendous change and growth for New York City, focusing on the period during and just after the end of World War II. Now, just as it was then, he perfectly captured the spirit of the greatest city in the world.
Arthur Leipzig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 25, 1918. After studying photography at the Photo League in 1942, he became a staff photographer for The Newspaper PM, where he worked for the next four years. During this period, he completed his first photo essay, on children's street games.
In 1946, he left The Newspaper PM. After a short stint at International News Photos, he became a freelance photojournalist, traveling on assignments around the world, contributing work to such periodicals as The Sunday New York Times, This Week, Fortune, Look, and Parade. Edward Steichen encouraged him to teach, which he did for twenty-eight years at Long Island University, where he is now Professor Emeritus.
Leipzig has been included in many museum group exhibitions, most notably "New Faces" (1946) and Edward Steichen's landmark "Family of Man" at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's "Photography as a Fine Art" in 1961 and 1962. His work is also represented in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Brooklyn Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The Jewish Museum, and The Bibliothèque Nationale, among others. Mr. Leipzig has received the National Urban League Photography Award, several annual Art Directors Awards, and two Long Island University Trustees Awards for Scholarly Achievement.
Arthur Leipzig died on December 5, 2014 at his home in Sea Cliff, N.Y. He was 96.
We hope you enjoy this exhibition of memorable fine art photographs.
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