The Best Art Books of 2018
The Times’s art critics select some of their favorite art books and books related to art of the year.

by Roberta Smith
‘FLASH: THE MAKING OF WEEGEE THE FAMOUS’ By Christopher Bonanos (Henry Holt & Company). By current standards, the street photographer Arthur Fellig, better known as Weegee, might be considered a kind of performance artist: elbowing his way to the front of the more sensational scenes of New York night life, snapping pictures in his indelible noir style and developing them in the trunk of his car — so as to rush his product to the dailies ahead of the pack. His ambition, self-invention and neuroses are all detailed in this sharp biography by Mr. Bonanos, who clearly admires the artist, sees the unsavory aspects of the man and knows old New York as well as anyone too young to have lived through it. (Read the book review.)
NY Times, Dec. 14, 2018, p.C20

The Office of Civilian Defense announces the following instructions to be carried out “When an air raid comes.”

Approaches to New York Harbor Mined by Navy.

New York Has Skyscrapers for Air Raid Shelters
Simple Safety Rules will Save Lives When the Bombers Come…”

Simple Rules Show How to Make a Home Safer in Raids

Blackout Curtains Will Hinder Night Bomb Raiding

What Are Bombs Like? Here Are Some of the Answers“.

PM, December 11, 1941

(For the first time ever, we present possibly useful information…)


PM, December 10, 1941
New York Has Its First Air-Raid Alarms, But the Enemy Fails to Make Appearance
A million schoolchildren were evacuated from their classrooms yesterday as New York had two air-raid alarms – the first of the war. These pupils at PS 23 on Hester Street looked on the whole procedure as a kind of game. The alarm found most New Yorkers calm, but left then puzzled as to what it was all about. There is one theory that somebody mistook American planes for the enemy; another holds that it was a staged dress rehearsal. The Army denied the latter theory. Whatever the cause, we needed the practice. PM Photo by Weegee


PM, December 2, 1941, p. 14 (photos by Martin Harris)

What Happens to These Men Depends on Mayor La Guardia
“Last week the Board of Estimate adopted a Council bill banishing itinerant peddling from city streets. The bill affects about 10,000 peddlers. Now in the Mayor’s hands, it exempts news dealers and others able to get licenses…”