Weegee (1899-1968), Naked City, 2020

Weegee’s Naked City was republished (excellently designed and printed) this year…


Weegee (1899-1968), Naked City, 1945

The book gets off to a great start… with a pair of selfies…


PM, August 27, 1941


PM, June 2, 1944, pp.12-13 (photos by Weegee and Arthur Leipzig)


Screenshot, moma.com, (photo by Ansel Adams)

(Just a name and a sliver of a silver gelatin print, “Woman Shot from Cannon, New York, 1943.”)


Screenshot from of exhibition checklist from moma.com

“My Man, 1941” – 95.1943 is online

“Tenement Fire, 1939” – 96.1943 is online

“Woman Shot from Cannon, New York, 1943” – 696.1943 is online

“Art in Progress: 15th Anniversary Exhibitions: Photography” at MoMA, May 24 – September 17, 1944

To be continued…


PM, May 31, 1943, p. 26 (Photo by Weegee)

“The can-can girls in the When Paris is Paree Again number of the new show at Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe.”

Billy Rose Retreats Into the Future

By Louis Kronenberger

Having purveyed nostalgia and Gay-Ninetyish frou-frou at the Diamond Horseshoe for several years, Billy Rise about-faced Saturday night and marched into the future…
Whatever its shortcomings, the thing has pace, color, and looks. At Diamond Horseshoe prices, it’s a good buy.

Billy Rose’s new show in the late spring of 1943, at his Times Square Diamond Horseshoe venue, was called “Post-War Preview,” (“The Musical Shape of Things to Come”).

It was in four or five parts: “The Night of Unconditional Surrender,” a post-war Broadway; “When Paris is Paree Again,” a post-war Paris; a post-war Vienna; the fourth part featured a post-war poet, Bob Hall; and the final “The Victory Ball” (in Washington) featured performers wearing masks of FDR, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek, and Stalin, and an international cast.

It was a wildly successful, and well-reviewed, musical revue that played for over 10 months. Performances were at 8 PM and 12 AM; dinner from $3.50, (same buying power as $51.28 in April 2020).

And most importantly, a review in PM featured an obscure, almost unknown, not-published-in-77-years Weegee photo… A good example of his seldom-seen, war-time, home-front work…

Some of the performers included: Three Ross Sisters, Bob Hall, Herman Hyde, Billy Banks (died in Tokyo in 1967), Rosalie Grant, Vivien Fay, Four Rosebuds, Vincent Travers, and significantly Bobby Davis, (tap dances and “Puts one table on top of another and several chairs on top of the tables, leans down, takes a bite of the tables and lifts them up above his head with his teeth.” Brooklyn Eagle, June 1, 1943)

…There were no glasses, of course, on any of the girls last night. They are beautifully costumed in pink, blue and other colors, and Billy Rose told me that there wasn’t a single costume that cost him less than $360, which is considerable when you consider the amount of the gals that isn’t covered.
A radio announcer’s staccato voice starts the ‘Post-War Preview.”It is the Night of Unconditional Surrender and the announcer says that crowds in New York are dancing in the streets, 50,000 lights are aglow, and people are tearing up their ration cards into confetti… (The New York Post, June 1, 1943.)


The New York Post, May 28, 1943


The New York Times, July 22, 1945

To commemorate the recently republished book, Weegee’s magnum opus, “Naked City,” a timeless (and funny: “But I had the sense to quit when the talkies came in” and insightful: “his favorite subjects are dummies…” and informative: “till last May Weegee was with…” and profound: “One day you’re a hero…”) piece from the The New York Times


PM, May 28, 1941 (One Weegee photo made in Times Square)

World War Two (and Murder Inc. and bird) news… (Important day in the history of WWII and the U.S.)


(Weegee giving social distancing guidance.)

Five feet eight inches of Fellig plus a few inches of fedora = six feet.

Practice social distancing with Weegee…

(A 1943 profile of Weegee includes a perhaps unnecessary description: “A paunchy, 190-pound five-feet-eight, he looks overstuffed, untidy and unshaven. His grimy cuffs twist out of his coat sleeves and his tie is probably mustard splotched…”)


PM, May 25, 1941, p.20

The latest in Aimée Crocker, Murder Inc., and pigeon news…


PM, May 25, 1941, p.51 (by Robert Rice)

How N.Y. Prepares to Defend Itself From Bombers

New York City prepares for war. (About seven months before they entered the war.)


PM, May 25, 1941, p.51


PM, May 25, 1941, p.52

Emergency Services are Ready for Action


PM, May 25, 1941, p.52


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53

Museum Therapeutics
As far as property damage from bombs goes, opinion is that such large buildings as hospitals and museums would be extremely vulnerable. Museum tycoons, however, are not making extensive plans to stow their treasures for the duration. Only small, movable stuff would be transported. The rest would be left both because moving it would be much too difficult and because museums provide a popular form of escapism during a crises.”


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53


PM, May 25, 1941, p.53 (police headquarters, 250 Centre St.)

Won’t Be Caught

The co-operating organizations are innumerable, ranging from specialized bodies of engineers, doctors, architects and so forth, specifically devoted to defense to all kinds of civilian organization which have nothing but time, energy and good to contribute.

To sum up: The City Fathers are by no means unaware of the possible dangers to New York in the event of war, and they are preparing to meet them. Probably a larger part of the plans have not yet been made public, Some of them never will be. But if the ominous buzz of enemy aircraft ever sounds over New York the city won’t be caught with its guard down.”