Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, New YorkArtist(s)Paul StrandArtist NationalityAmerican (North American)Object Creation Date1915Medium & Supportphotogravure on paperDimensions
11 in x 7 7/8 in (28 cm x 20 cm);11 1/16 in x 7 15/16 in (28.1 cm x 20.1 cm);12 in x 9 1/2 in (30.5 cm x 24.2 cm);5 in x 6 9/16 in (12.7 cm x 16.7 cm);57 in x 14 7/16 in (144.78 cm x 36.67 cm)Credit LineMuseum purchase made possible by the Jean Paul Slusser Memorial FundLabel copy
Paul Strand was born in New York and chronicled the City's transitions in the early years of the twentieth century. After study at the Ethical Culture School in New York, he joined Camera Work in 1908. His early work in the pictorialist vein—employing the soft-focus lens and poetic portrayals of his native city—soon took on a more modern look. Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street shows the bustle of the crowd and jostling of automobiles and horse-drawn carriages, much like the stereoscope image of The Crazy Crowd, dating from the 1880s. The modernity of his view of this busy intersection reflects his increasing interest in unmanipulated, clean compositions of the City, which became known as "straight photography."
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 an elevated view from above a street filled with people, cars, and horse-drawn carriages. Groups of people, cast shadows, and empty spaces of concrete exhibit Strand's interest in form and composition. The movement of the city becomes the subject of the photograph, in addition to the rich display of forms and tonal ranges. This photograph was published in 1916's Camera Work,
issue no. 48 as a photogravure. Physical Description
Photograph of a crowded Fifth Avenue in 1915, New York. People, cars, and horse-drawn carriages bustle through the street.Primary Object ClassificationPhotographCollection AreaPhotographyRights
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modern and contemporary art