Stanley Kubrick’s Photos of New York Life in the 40s
Stanley Kubrick—who wrote and directed Lolita, Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange and The Shining—was one of America’s most influential filmmakers. Directors ranging from the Coen Brothers to Tim Burton paid visual homage to his works in their own films, and no less than Steven Spielberg said: “Nobody could shoot a picture better in history.”
In fact Kubrick’s special skill behind the camera and his ability to create visual intrigue were evident long before he was a Hollywood icon. Even at the age of 17, Kubrick was an immense talent. In 1945, for $25, he sold a photograph to Look magazine of a broken-hearted newsvendor reacting to the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A few months later Kubrick joined Look’s staff to become the youngest staff photographer in the magazine’s history. He continued to work for Look until 1950 when he left to pursue filmmaking.
It was during this period that Kubrick’s respected—and often-imitated—style first became apparent. His photographs are vintage Kubrick: a complex blend of composition, drama, light and mystery.
Now, for the first time, fine art prints of Kubrick’s work as a photojournalist are available for sale. Previously only available for viewing in museum archives or in books about Kubrick, curators at the Museum of the City of New York and art advisors at VandM examined over 10,000 negatives of Kubrick’s photos to hand select 25 for this limited edition sale on VandM.
Images in this collection show the drama—both human and artistic—that infuse Kubrick’s work. Included are: the photograph used on the cover of the Kubrick book, Drama & Shadows, of a young woman making her way down a steep set of stairs while carrying a pile of books precariously tilting books; showgirl Rosemary Williams intently applying makeup as the equally intent young Kubrick photographs her. His subjects are as varied as the city he worked in: he catches Broadway actress Betsy Von Furstenberg studying her lines; prizefighter Walter Cartier in the corner between rounds; Dwight Eisenhower, also between rounds—after World War II, before he became President of the United States—when he was Columbia University’s president, and performers from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
All images are available as prints through VandM.com
2. Student at Columbia University – 1948
3. Shoe Shine Boys – 1947
4. Shoe Shine Boys (Vendor) – 1947
5. Shoe Shine Boys (On Fence) – 1947
6. Johnny on the Spot – 1946
7. Laboratory at Columbia University – 1948
8. High Wire Act – 1948
9. General Dwight D. Eisenhower at Columbia University – 1948
10. Betsy Von Furstenberg – 1949
11. Johnny Grant – 1946
12. Showgirls at the Copacabana Club – 1948
13. Walking the Streets of New York – 1946
All photos are printed on museum quality acid-free fibre paper using archival pigment inks and are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, numbered and signed by the Museum of the City of New York’s Curator of Prints and Photographs.
The majority of the proceeds go to the Museum of the City of New York.
All prints are unframed. Quoted dimensions are for the size of the paper and have a minimum border of .5 inches to allow for framing. Current lead time is 4-6 weeks for delivery.
14. Waiting at the Dentist’s Office
15. Changing the Tire – 1946
16. Boxer Walter Cartier – 1948
17. Girl with Dolls – 1947
18. Circus Woman With Rollerskating Monkey – 1948
19. Police Athletic League Boxing – 1946
20. Mens Fashion Show – 1948
21. Film Crew – 1947
22. Young Girl at Palisades Amusement Park – 1946
23. Circus Side Show Performer – 1948
If you enjoyed this post, the Sifter highly recommends: