“When My Baby Left Me”; Cootie Williams and his Orchestra; Williams; Vinson; Eddie Vinson; Capitol (266); Publication date: July 19, 1945
The New York Post, July 19, p. 19
By John Adam Knight
Worth Anyone’s $4
[$4 in July 1945 had the same buying power as $65.48 in June 2022.]
All of this is background for a brief review of a fine new picture book, Weegee’s “Naked City” (Essential Books, 243 pp., $4). This is Weegee at his former best, which means virtually unequaled. Most of these pictures were made before the Museum of Modern Art’s kiss of death took effect, and the purchaser need have little fear of being stuck with serious “art.”
What he will get for his $4 is a collection of grauvre reproductions of about 200 stark almost primitive photographs of death, despair and degeneracy in New York between midnight and morning. Though technically poor photographs, almost every one of them tells a gripping, human story, one of the best reasons I know for the invention of the camera.
The paper shortage denies me the pleasure of describing dozens of these pictures individually. I have space only to urge every one interested to buy the book and learn the lesson that Weegee once knew that honesty, a genuine interest in people – all people – and a recognition of what constitutes human interest in pictures can make any of you nearly as great as Weegee once was.
The New York Post, July 19, p. 19
“Echoes Of Harlem”; Cootie Williams And His Orchestra; Cootie Williams; Duke Ellington; Capitol (266); Publication date: July 19, 1945
A picture with somebody in it sells better than a picture of a lifeless object. So Weegee sometimes puts himself in his picture-shooting them by “remote control.” Here he is posing as a “curious passerby” looking at the body of a Brooklyn murder victim found in t trunk near the Gowanus Canal.
Weegee makes friends readily. On a Chinatown assignment, he got this New Year’s lucky wish from a Chinese girl. He has a photo of her painting ot pinned above his bed (picture on next page). It is characteristic of him to have his picture taken this way. The cigar is standard equipment.
Weegee’s room shows his devotion to his job. On top of his regular radio is a police short-wave radio and a loudspeaker attached to it dangles over his bed. On the floor are his special “murder shoes” – at left – and his “snow shoes.” He keeps his “fire shoes” in his car. The wall decorations are examples of his work and certificates of awards for prize-winning pictures. The cardboard boxes at the extreme right are his disorderly “files.” The typewriter is his latest acquisition. He has recently taken up writing – a field in which he shows rather starltinh talent. We don’t know what the Flit is for.
“Weegee” Lends a Helping Hand
New York — Down at the Bronx Terminal Market, 151st and Exterior Sts., to cover the picketing by retail dealers, photographer “Weegee” got into the swing of things and carried a placard for the picketers. Here, he holds up the sign denouncing black marketeers, all the while puffing on his big cigar and keeping his camera handy for a good picture. The market was picketed by dealers protesting the black market and tie-in sales.
PM, August 20, 1940
They’d Sooner Be at the Beach But, Heat or No Heat, Jobs Are Scarce
Weegee, the wag, finished up the day by taking his own picture in the darkroom. Note camera release in his hand.