Taken between 1939 and 1940, this is a really impressive historical, location referenced photo-archive of NYC – marking the point of emergence for a new world in the coming decades, but shaded with modernism even then.
The Works Progress Administration collaborated with the New York City Tax Department to collect photographs of every building in the five boroughs of New York City. In 2018, the NYC Municipal Archives completed the digitisation and tagging of these photos. This website places them on a map.
You can discover the aims of the Works Progress Administration on Wikipedia. Part of the The New Deal, it represented an energy and drive to resuscitate the lives of millions of job seekers in a recession.
The image catalogue is resonant of today, in many layered ways.
For a really contemporary photographic take on NYC, you can explore…
Hearts in Isolation: Expanding the Walls 2020
‘Organised by Studio Museum Harlem, the online photography exhibition Hearts in Isolation: Expanding the Walls 2020 features work by the fifteen teenage artists in the 2020 cohort of the Museum’s annual program, Expanding the Walls: Making Connections Between Photography, History, and Community.
Launching July 30th, the first online edition of the annual Expanding the Walls exhibition marks the program’s twentieth anniversary.’
For more detail of this contemporary work: