Fashion photographer Cunningham's 'Facades' on display
NEW YORK — Bill Cunningham is a familiar presence on the social and fashion pages of The New York Times, and the streets of New York City, riding a bicycle with a small camera bag strapped to his waist.
But long before his images of street fashion became a regular newspaper feature, Cunningham spent eight years, from 1968 to 1976, working on a whimsical photo essay of models in period costumes posing against historic sites of the same vintage.
Astride his bike, he searched secondhand shops for antique clothing and looked for architectural sites across the city to create the perfect tableaux, many of which featured his muse and fellow photographer, Editta Sherman.
The result was “Facades,” a book published in 1978.
Now, nearly all of the 88 gelatin silver prints from the series, which Cunningham donated to the New York Historical Society, are featured in an exhibition there. “Bill Cunningham: Facades” runs through June 15.
“I don't think he ever thought of it as a fashion project,” said the show's curator, Valerie Paley. “It's more a social, architectural and fashion history of the city. ... He saw the grace of old architecture, the lines and the architectural integrity.”
But while Cunningham may not have been making a statement about preservation, said Paley, “he certainly was seeing beauty where others weren't seeing it.”
“I'm crazy about fashion and I'm mad about architecture,” the 85-year-old photographer said at the exhibition opening. “It was all here in New York City.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Gray wolf decision reversed
- Traffic camera use upheld in Ohio
- Ghostly snailfish found at record depth
- FBI’s 2001 anthrax attack investigation questioned
- Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages in Florida
- Bush officials gave CIA wide latitude on interrogation tactics
- Congress’ legacy: Way worse than ‘do-nothing’ one of 1947-48
- Navy developing robotic fish drone
- Attorney General Holder, Justice Department target bias against transgender employees
- Traffic deaths down 3 percent