Ida Wyman: East Harlem, New York, 1947 In Color

2021-02-12 - 2021-04-25

This series of color Ektachromes Ida Wyman made of East Harlem in 1947 were discovered in her archive only recently, and exist as the only color body of work from that period.

East Harlem in 1947 was a neighborhood of immigrants from poor and working class backgrounds. Her photographs reveal the extraordinary within the urban landscape. Reflecting the related practices of documentary photography, photojournalism, and street photography, these images are a testament to Wyman’s abiding curiosity about the human condition and the complexity of human experience, both familiar and unfamiliar.

Although not as famous as some of her contemporaries, Ida was one of the defining artists of early street photography that helped shape how we look at our world. Wyman’s photographic vignettes of life in urban centers and small towns in the United States, taken during the mid-twentieth century, illuminate the historical moment while providing a deeply humanist perspective on her subject. 

By the time Wyman was 16, she know that she wanted to work as a photographer. Opportunities then were few for women photographers, but in 1943 Wyman joined Acme Newspictures as a mail room ‘boy’; pulling prints and captioning them for clients. When WWII ended, Acme's only female printer was fired so a man could have her job. Wyman set out on her own to begin free-lance work for magazines, and her first photo story was published in LOOK magazine the same year. By 1948 she was in Los Angeles, working on assignments for LIFE magazine. She would eventually cover over 100 assignments for LIFE. Ida Wyman passed away at age 93 in 2019.

Blind Magazine: In a League of Her Own: Ida Wyman, Girl Photographer in a World of Men

View the full Ida Wyman collection here.

HISTORY NOW

HISTORY NOW

2021-02-12 - 2021-04-25

Our world is changing faster – and in more ways – than we could have ever imagined. With political, social, and economic disruption on a scale rarely seen since the end of World War II 75 years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic is also forcing us to completely rethink the notion of ‘business as usual’

With the proliferation of instant news, history in the making is being documented by a new-wave of fearless frontline photojournalists.  Looking at the pictorial documentation of extraordinary events, we often get the impression that we are feeling the pulse of history more intensively than at other times. These photographs maintain the power to stir the consciousness (and conscience) today. They set social and political changes in motion, transforming the way we live and think—in a shared medium that is a singular intersectionality of art and journalism.