Looking Down on Construction of the AP

Accession Number

Looking Down on Construction of the AP

Paul J. Woolf

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

9 1/2 in x 7 in (24.13 cm x 17.78 cm);7 3/4 in x 14 3/4 in (19.68 cm x 37.47 cm);9 7/16 in x 7 5/16 in (23.97 cm x 18.57 cm);9 13/16 in x 7 5/8 in (24.92 cm x 19.37 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of The Morris and Beverly Baker Foundation, in memory of Morris D. Baker, a graduate of The University of Michigan School of Architecture, 1952

Label copy
Woolf studied at the University of California at Berkeley in the late 1920s, and then attended the Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York during 1931–32. Establishing a successful commercial studio in Manhattan, Woolf specialized in architectural and night photography, although his work also included portraits and advertising. Here Woolf provides us with a view between the towers of Rockefeller Center. The dynamism of New York is captured in the construction of the Associated Press Building and the view of the City in the distance.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
This photograph depicts the construction of the Associated Press building, an adjunct of the Rockefeller center, in 1937. The towers of the Rockefeller center frame the image, with the RCA building on the left and the International Building on the right. Through the frame created by these buildings, the viewer sees the steel-frame construction of the Associated Press (AP) Building. Beyond is the expanse of the city, seemingly small in comparison to the Rockefeller Center. Taken from the heights of the Time Life Building, this image focuses on the new possibilities of construction and architecture in Manhattan, New York.

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a bird's eye view of Manhattan, framed by the towers of the Rockefeller RCA building and the International Building. In the center of the frame is located the construction site for the Rockefeller Associated Press building.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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Art Deco
architecture (discipline)
cityscapes (representations)
construction sites
steel frame construction

6 Related Resources

Architecture in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)
New York City
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Technology and Modernity in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
The City in Photography 1900-1948
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
The Modern Metropolis
(Part of 7 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

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