“WEEGEE – THE FAMOUS, 1935–1960
October 18, 2018 – January 20, 2019.
Tuesday – Sunday 12:00 – 19:00.
Curator: Peter Baki”

“Weegee, The Famous, 1935 – 1960 is organised in the framework of the Hungarian Photomonth 2018. The exhibition has been realised in collaboration with the Institute for Cultural Exchange, Tübingen…”

maimano.hu/en/
maimano.hu/en/kiallitasok/weegee-the-famous-1935-1960
maimano.hu/en/weegee_usher_fellig_biography

104 great photos. Beautiful exhibition space. Looks like a great exhibition…

Advertisements

PM, August 27, 1941 (Fire photos by Irving Haberman)

Storm Ties Up Subways…5 Pages
This inferno-like scene is one of the results of tortential rains that wept New York, causing the worst subway tie-up in history. A lightning bolt hit a gas main in a subway excavation, dropped an auto into the resulting cave-in, stated a three-alarm fire… (PM Photo by Irving Haberman)”

“The Weather Bureau also termed 2.13 inches of rain in that brief spectacular on and one-half hours “extensive precipitation.”” p. 15

Weegee Has a Salon: Arthur Fellig, the night-prowling cameraman who turns in many of PM’s choicest pictures of fires, wrecks, rescues and crimes, is having a one-man show of his own at the Photo League, 31 E. 21st St. The exhibit will run through Sept. 6.”

Starting with one of the best archives in the world: The New York City Municipal Archives.

“The NYC Municipal Archives Online Gallery provides research access to over 900,000 items digitized from the Municipal Archives’ vast holdings, including photographs, maps, motion-pictures and audio recordings.” NYCMA website.

Two Weegee things can be easily found: an 8×10 gelatin silver print (the front of a fire photo) and an audio recording (Captain Edward Steichen reading an amazing letter from Weegee at MoMA from WNYC) out of almost a million digitized objects…

Copied from the NYC Archives’ website:

MAC: Municipal Archives Collection
Record Identifier: mac_0493
Credit: Arthur Fellig (Weegee)
Subject: Fire Department
Subject: Fire fighting
Description: Engine and Hook & Ladders fighting fire in downtown loft or tenement. Container trucks at left.
Format: 8×10

(Would be nice to see the entire photo, uncropped, there are crop marks and perhaps other info that is cropped out, and the back of the photo is essential… (We (heart) watermarks.))


Screenshot from NYC MAC website.

The highlight of a panel discussion “What Is Modern Photography?,” October 20, 1950, that was a part of the first annual American Art Festival’s symposium on photography held in an auditorium at the Museum of Modern Art was Captain Edward Steichen (who gives a nice salute to WNYC) reading Weegee’s words, including an amazing letter from Weegee who was presumably in California at the time… At 1:16:50: “I can’t resist bringing in the fabulous Weegee…”
Essential listening…

Copied from the NYC Archives’ website:

WNYC: Radio, Film & TV
Record Identifier: MUNI-AART-1950-10-20-53319.7 LT1120 EQ
Catalog Number: LT1120
Title: What Is Modern Photography?
Series Title: WNYC American Art Festival
Date: 10/20/1950
Creator: WNYC Radio
Credit: Original recordings reformatted by New York Public Radio Archives (WNYC/WQXR) with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Subject: Photography.
Subject: Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.).
Subject: Museums.
Subject: Arts.
Subject: Art.
Type: Sound
Format: lacquer transcription disc
Language: English
Notes: Adobe Flash Player required to hear audio. [???]


Screenshot from NYC MAC website.

The 68 year old audio recording asks the question “What is Modern Photography” and answers the question “Why was Weegee the best Modern Photographer?” 🙂

From an old #weegeeweegeeweegee-classic blog post(s):

“What Is Modern Photography?” on wnyc.org

What is Modern Photography?

The great WNYC radio news blog posted an audio recording of a fascinating panel discussion, The 1950 WNYC American Art Festival, broadcast October 30, 1950. It was moderated by Edward Steichen. The photographers who were present (Margaret Bourke-White, Waker Evans, Gjon Mili, Lisette Model (too frightened to read her own words, so they were read by Steichen), Wright Morris, Homer Page, Irving Penn, Ben Shahn, Charles Sheeler, and Aaron Siskind) spoke in alphabetical order for about five minutes. Steichen talked about or quoted several photographers who were not present (Harry Callahan, Louis Faurer, Frederick Sommer, Weegee, Edward Weston). It’s unfortunate that Weegee wasn’t there. Nevertheless Steichen speaks of him fondly and Weegee’s more-or-less at the same table with the rest of the art photography gang…

It can be heard here:

At 30:20 minutes into the panel discussion, after (the deadly serious) Siskind and before (the deathly ill) Weston, Capt. Steichen speaks about then reads some of Weegee’s words… (here they are transcribed)

“…Our remaining guests are among those not present. I can’t resist bringing in the fabulous Weegee.
Who is the first press photographer to move from the field of spot news reporting and become a photographic commentator. Where his original and major claims to fame were police and fire pictures their stands recorded in Weegee’s two books, Naked City and Weegee’s People a fantastic procession of human foibles and emotion. If photography did not have Weegee in the United States of America we would surely have to invent him. I’ve picked out some quotes from some of Weegee’s sayings:

‘To me a photograph is a page from life, and that being the case, it must be real.’
‘Don’t forget about anything and everything else to be human, think, feel. When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you’re on the right track.’
‘One doesn’t just go up to strange men, women, children, elephants or giraffes and say look this way please, laugh, cry, show some emotion or go to sleep underneath a funeral canopy’, they would have called me crazy and called the cops who would have called the wagon with the guys in white and I would have wound up in the psychopathic ward in Bellevue Hospital in a straight jacket.’
‘[My or Press?] Pictures are different. The photographer must be on the scene at the split second of occurrence. Here’s my formula: Dealing as I do with human beings and I find them wonderful. I leave them alone, I let them be themselves, holding hands with the love light in their eyes, sleeping, or merely walking down the street. The trick is to be where people are. All one needs to do is to be on the spot, alert, and human. I think the secret is knowing what you want. I worked for years then there were no more gangsters, no really good murders, so I got a job with Vogue doing fashion photography. (laughter). They always send a girl along to make sure I didn’t steal the silverware. (laughter) So i got tired of fashion and so I went to Hollywood. I’ve appeared in five pictures as a street photographer. The greatest bit of casting since Lassie.” (much, much laughter and applause)…


Lassie, Unidentified Photographer…

Of course, like in most archives, with a bit of digging there are curiosities and/or treasures to be found:


Screenshot of tax photo of 5 Centre Market Place from the 1980s from NYMAC webite.


Screenshot from eastman.org.

Copied from eastman.org:

“Inscriptions verso (ink): The notice for Burglars Ball
Hospital took this notice
down

(stamped): [inscription partially obscured] photo sold for use in one Publication
[illeg.] not to be resold, loaned, [illeg.]
[illeg.] used for advertising purposes with [illeg.]
written permission.
CREDIT LINE MUST READ
photo by
A. FELLIG
5 CENTER MARKET PLACE, N. Y. C.”

This is intriguing… another “Burglar’s Ball” photo recently acquired by GEH…


Daily Mail, August 2, 2018 (Updated 8:18 EDT), screenshot

Text copied from dailymail.com:

Grisly crime scene pictures of bloodied murder victims from early 1900s New York City taken by legendary news photographer Weegee are seen in color for the first time

Arthur Fellig took dozens of harrowing crime scene photos by following emergency services around
He was first on scene so often he was said to be able to predict crime and was nicknamed Weegee…
Black and white photos were painstakingly colorized for the first time by Frenchman Frédéric Duriez

By Nic White For Mailonline

Published: 06:08 EDT, 2 August 2018 | Updated: 08:18 EDT, 2 August 2018

Gruesome early 20th Century crime scenes of New York’s gangland murders by a legendary news photographer can be seen in color for the first time.

The unnerving shots by Arthur Fellig show the bodies of Robert Green and Jacob Jagendorf after a failed robbery attempt, a bloodied couple lying dead in bed, and a murder victim with a chalk outline drawn around him.
Fellig was said to have been able to ‘predict’ crime and captured dozens of harrowing scenes under the pseudonym Weegee by following emergency services around…”
“Fellig revolutionized photojournalism with his stark portraits of urban crime scenes, often shooting the aftermath of violent murders and horrific accidents.
The images captured the rapidly changing city that New York was in the decade before prohibition, which itself brought a fresh wave of violent crime.
Fellig worked on New York City’s Lower East Side as a press photographer during the 1930s and 1940s, and developed his signature style by following the city’s emergency services and documenting their activity.
Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death…”
“The photos like this one of a woman who was murdered in her own bed in a run-down apartment can now be seen in brilliant color, as with her purple dress, for the first time. The unnerving shots were taken by Arthur Fellig, who was said to have been able to ‘predict’ crime and captured dozens of harrowing scenes under the pseudonym Weegee by following emergency services around.
He published photographic books and also worked in cinema, initially making his own short films and later collaborating with film directors such as Jack Donohue and Stanley Kubrick.
Fellig earned his nickname, a phonetic rendering of Ouija, because of his frequent, seemingly prescient arrivals at scenes only minutes after crimes, fires or other emergencies were reported to authorities.
He is variously said to have named himself Weegee or to have been named either by the staff at Acme Newspictures or by a police officer…”

Above text copied from dailymail.com.


Daily Mail, August 2, 2018 (Updated 10:55 EDT), screenshot

Text copied from dailymail.com:

Grisly crime scene pictures of bloodied murder victims from early 1900s New York City are seen in color for the first time

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT…
They were taken in the first two decades of the 20th Century as New York underwent social change
Black and white photos were painstakingly colorized for the first time by Frenchman Frédéric Duriez
Gruesome early 20th Century crime scenes of New York’s gangland murders, robberies gone wrong, and crimes of passion can be seen in color for the first time.
The unnerving shots show the bodies of two thieves who fell down an elevator shaft in a failed robbery attempt, a bizarre murder-suicide, and a victim with a chalk outline drawn around him.
The black and white crime scene photographs were painstakingly colorized by Frédéric Duriez, 52, from Angres, France, to show what detectives would really have seen.
‘I think that it’s is a haunting collection of crime scene photographs never meant to be seen by the public in color,’ he said.
‘I like how picture was taken, just above the character, this increases the dramatic side of the scene. It is by chance that I discovered these pictures on the internet, they seemed fantastic. I thought, why not colorize them.’
The images captured the rapidly changing city that New York was in the decade before the prohibition of 1920-33, which itself brought a fresh wave of violent crime. ”

Above text copied from dailymail.com.

dailymail.co.uk

Obviously Weegee didn’t make the photos, they were made by unidentified photographers, the “original” digital files are from the NYC Municipal Archives.


New Yorker cover, August 6 and/or 13, 2018 and/or Weegee, Naked City, pp. 178-179

You’re based in London. Where did you get this vision of a beach day?”

“The spark for this idea came from a 1940 photograph by Weegee, which shows Coney Island beach completely covered with people: a whole city decamped onto the sand. In London, we have a similar thing with parks, which fill to bursting point when the hot summer weather comes.”
Tom Gauld’s “On The Beach”, By Françoise Mouly, July 30, 2018, newyorker.com

Coincidentally and irrelevantly… 75 years ago today:


PM, August 1, 1943
“Sketched on the spot, by Grant Reynard, July 1943.”


Weegee, [Jeremiah Erranght’s room], 1942, screenshot from icp.org

body bag (not empty)
books (open and closed)
box (open)
calendar (February 1942)
cans (open and closed)
coat
lamp (empty)
newspaper
quilt (in sink)
Selox soap box
sink
table
window (open)

(First Jeremiah Erranght, 55, post is here.)


Weegee, [Jeremiah Erranght’s room], 1942, screenshot from icp.org (Detail)

(Book on box… what did the “recluse” read?)