Exhibition: ‘Picturing New York: Photographs from The Museum of Modern Art’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin

Exhibition dates: 25th November 2009 – 7th February 2010


Many thankx to Monica Cullinane and the Irish Museum of Modern Art for allowing me the reproduce photographs from the exhibition. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.




Times Wide World Photos. 'Mr. and Mrs. Joe Louis Out for a Stroll' September 25, 1935


Times Wide World Photos (American, active 1919-1941)
Mr. and Mrs. Joe Louis Out for a Stroll
September 25, 1935
Gelatin silver print
8 3/4 x 6 5/8″ (22.2 x 16.8cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The New York Times Collection


Cindy Sherman. 'Untitled Film Still #21' 1978


Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954)
Untitled Film Still #21
Gelatin silver print
7 1/2 x 9 1/2″ (19.1 x 24.1cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel



Each of Sherman’s sixty-nine Untitled Film Stills (1977-1980), presents a female heroine from a movie we feel we must have seen. Here, she is the pert young career girl in a trim new suit on her first day in the big city. Among the others are the luscious librarian (#13), the chic starlet at her seaside hideaway (#7), the ingenue setting out on life’s journey (#48), and the tough but vulnerable film noir idol (#54). To make the pictures, Sherman herself played all of the roles or, more precisely, played all of the actresses playing all of the roles. In other words, the series is a fiction about a fiction, a deft encapsulation of the image of femininity that, through the movies, took hold of the collective imagination in postwar America – the period of Sherman’s youth, and the crucible of our contemporary culture.

In fact, only a handful of the Untitled Film Stills are modelled directly on particular roles in actual movies, let alone on individual stills of the sort that the studios distribute to publicise their films. All the others are inventive allusions to generic types, and so our sure sense of recognition is all the more telling. It tells us that, knowingly or not, we have absorbed the movie culture that Sherman invites us to examine as a powerful force in our lives.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 295.


Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009) 'New York' 1982


Helen Levitt (American, 1913-2009)
New York
Gelatin silver print
9 9/16 x 6 7/16″ (24.3 x 16.4cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of Marvin Hoshino in memory of Ben Maddow
© 2009 The Estate of Helen Levitt, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco


Louis Stettner (American, born 1922) 'Manhattan from the Promenade, Brooklyn, New York' 1954


Louis Stettner (American, 1922-2016)
Manhattan from the Promenade, Brooklyn, New York
Gelatin silver print
12 1/4 x 18 1/4″ (31.1 x 46.4cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the photographer in memory of his brother, David Stettner
© 2009 Louis Stettner, courtesy Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York


Diane Arbus. 'Woman with Veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C' 1968


Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971)
Woman with Veil on Fifth Avenue, N.Y.C.
Gelatin silver print
The Museum of Modern Art, New York



An exhibition of 145 masterworks from the photographic collection of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York , celebrating the architecture and life of that unique city from the 1880s to the present day, opens to the public at the Irish Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, November 25, 2009. “Picturing New York” draws on one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary photography in the world to celebrate the long tradition of photographing New York, a tradition that continues to frame and influence our perception of the city to this day. Presenting the work of some 40 photographers including such influential figures as Berenice Abbott, Diane Arbus, Garry Winogrand, Lisette Model, Alfred Stieglitz and Cindy Sherman, the exhibition features both the city and its inhabitants, from its vast, overwhelming architecture to the extraordinary diversity of its people.

The exhibition reflects photographers’ ongoing fascination with New York, a city whose vitality, energy, dynamism and sheer beauty have also inspired innumerable artists, writers, filmmakers and composers. New York’s unique architecture is explored, from elegant skyscrapers to small shop fronts; likewise the life of its citizens, from anonymous pedestrians to celebrities and politicians. The city’s characteristic optimism is caught time and again in these images, even in those taken in difficult times. Together, they present a fascinating history of the city over more than a century, from Jacob Riis’s 1888 view of bandits on the Lower East Side to Michael Wesely’s images taken during the recent expansion at MoMA.

The photographs reveal New York as a city of contrasts and extremes through images of towering buildings and tenements, party-goers and street-dwellers, hurried groups and solitary individuals. “Picturing New York” suggests the symbiosis between the city’s progression from past to present and the evolution of photography as a medium and as an art form. Additionally, these photographs of New York contribute significantly to the notion that the photograph, as a work of art, is capable of constructing a sense of place and a sense of self.

“I am thrilled that ‘Picturing New York’ will be presented in Dublin – a city whose vitality, grit, and vibrant artistic community resonates with that of New York ,” said Sarah Meister, Curator in MoMA’s Department of Photography, who organised the exhibition. “In addition, the layout and scale of the galleries at IMMA will allow this story – of New York and photography becoming modern together throughout the twentieth century – to unfold as if chapter by chapter.”

Press release from the Irish Museum of Modern Art website [Online] Cited 26/01/2010 no longer available online


Jacob Riis (Danish-American, 1849-1914) 'Bandit's Roost at 59½ Mulberry Street' 1888


Jacob Riis (Danish-American, 1849-1914)
Bandit’s Roost at 59½ Mulberry Street
Gelatin silver print, printed 1958
19 3/16 x 15 1/2″ (48.7 x 39.4cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of the Museum of the City of New York



Late 19th-century New York City was a magnet for the world’s immigrants, and the vast majority of them found not streets paved with gold but nearly subhuman squalor. While polite society turned a blind eye, brave reporters like the Danish-born Jacob Riis documented this shame of the Gilded Age. Riis did this by venturing into the city’s most ominous neighbourhoods with his blinding magnesium flash powder lights, capturing the casual crime, grinding poverty and frightful overcrowding. Most famous of these was Riis’ image of a Lower East Side street gang, which conveys the danger that lurked around every bend. Such work became the basis of his revelatory book How the Other Half Lives, which forced Americans to confront what they had long ignored and galvanised reformers like the young New York politician Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote to the photographer, “I have read your book, and I have come to help.” Riis’ work was instrumental in bringing about New York State’s landmark Tenement House Act of 1901, which improved conditions for the poor.

Anonymous. “Bandit’s Roost, 59½ Mulberry Street,” on the Time 100 Photos website [Online] Cited 09/06/2019 no longer available online


Paul Strand. 'Wall Street, New York' 1915


Paul Strand (American, 1890-1976)
Wall Street
Gelatin silver print
The Museum of Modern Art, New York



Lewis W. Hine (American, 1874-1940)
Welders on the Empire State Building
c. 1930
Gelatin silver print
10 5/8 x 13 5/8″ (27 x 34.6cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Photography Fund



Dan Weiner (American, 1919-1959)
New Year’s Eve, Times Square
Gelatin silver print
9 1/4 x 13 3/16″ (23.5 x 33.5cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Sandra Weiner
© 2009 Estate of Dan Weiner


Bruce Davidson (American, b. 1933) 'Untitled' from the 'Brooklyn Gang' series 1959


Bruce Davidson (American, b. 1933)
Untitled from the Brooklyn Band series
Gelatin silver print
6 3/4 x 10″ (17.1 x 25.4cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Purchase
© 2019 Magnum Photos, Inc. and Bruce Davidson


Arthur Fellig (Weegee) 'Coney Island' 1940


Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American born Austria, 1899-1968)
Coney Island
c. 1939
Gelatin silver print
10 5/16 x 13 11/16″ (26.2 x 34.8cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Anonymous gift


Unknown photographer. 'Brooklyn Bridge' c. 1914


Unknown photographer (American)
Brooklyn Bridge
c. 1914
Gelatin silver print
7 5/8 x 9 9/16″ (19.4 x 24.3cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The New York Times Collection


Ted Croner. 'Central Park South' 1947-48


Ted Croner (American, 1922-2005)
Central Park South
Gelatin silver print
The Museum of Modern Art, New York


Bernice Abbott. 'Night View, New York City' 1932


Bernice Abbott (American, 1898-1991)
Night View, New York City
Gelatin silver print
The Museum of Modern Art, New York



Irish Museum of Modern Art/Áras Nua-Ealaíne na hÉireann
Royal Hospital
 Military Road
Dublin 8
Phone: +353-1-612 9900

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Thursday – Saturday: 10.00am – 5.30pm
Wednesday: 11.30am – 5.30pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 12pm – 5.30pm

Irish Museum of Modern Art website


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2 Responses to “Exhibition: ‘Picturing New York: Photographs from The Museum of Modern Art’ at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin”

  1. February 6, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    they are great. i love your blog. keep up this wonderful work here

  2. February 3, 2010 at 11:15 am

    good afternoon, the pictures are just out standing. wish to see them one day for real.

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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