Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960

The Battery, New York, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

New YorkArt & Culture

Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960

Caught in the moment, Todd Webb's enduring images of mid-century New York see the city frozen in time...

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, it was in 1938 that Todd Webb bought his first camera aged 33, joining the Chrysler Camera Club and striking up a friendship with fellow budding photographer Harry Callahan; the pair developing a life-long fascination with the medium.

Near Fulton Fish Market, 1946

Near Fulton Fish Market, 1946
© Todd Webb Archive

Moving to New York City in 1946 as a newly discharged Navy veteran, Webb dedicated himself to photography and spent a year photographing the city’s everyday life and architecture. With his large format camera and tripod, his hobby soon become his life; one year turning into several decades. With much support from the New York photography community — including luminaries like Georgia O’Keeffe, Walker Evans and Berenice Abbott — Webb was introduced to American curator Beaumont Newhall, and his first major solo exhibition was realised.

I See A City opened at the Museum of the City of New York in September 1946 to rave reviews, and was the catalyst of a long and successful career for the late photographer. Now, over seventy years later, the same museum is currently exhibiting a second solo exhibition of Webb’s work; A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960 serving as both a testament to the lasting potency of the photographer’s work and a spellbinding insight into a New York that has long gone.

Featuring more than 100 vintage images, accompanied by entries from Webb’s own journal, the exhibition highlights Todd Webb’s personal exploration of the city that enthralled him, and provides an expansive document of New York in the years following World War II. Curated by the Museums’s Sean Corcoran, A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960 will remain on show until 4 September.

@museumofcityny

The White Rose Bar on Sixth Avenue, 1948

The White Rose Bar on Sixth Avenue, 1948 © Todd Webb Archive

Empire State Building, 1946

From the Empire State Building, 1946
© Todd Webb Archive

From the Empire State Building Looking South

From the Empire State Building Looking South, 1946
© Todd Webb Archive

Amsterdam Avenue, 1946

Amsterdam Avenue, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

125th Street, 1946

125th Street, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

From Fulton Street El Station, 1946

From Fulton Street El Station, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

La Salle at Amsterdam, 1946

La Salle at Amsterdam, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

Sixth Avenue, 1946

Sixth Avenue, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

Under the El, Chatham Square, 1946

Under the El, Chatham Square, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

Under the El, Third Avenue, 1946

Under the El, Third Avenue, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

Third Avenue, New York, 1946

Third Avenue, New York, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

125th Street Hat Store, 1946

125th Street Hat Store, 1946 © Todd Webb Archive

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