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B&H Photography Podcast

B&H Photography Podcast

On this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we focus on the work of photographer Todd Webb and, specifically, the series of images he created in Africa in 1958, while on assignment for the United Nations. We are joined by Betsy Evans Hunt, the Executive Director of the Todd Webb Archive, and by Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan, coauthors of the new book, Todd Webb in Africa—Outside the Frame.

With our guests, we discuss the photographic career of Todd Webb, including his work in New York and Paris in the 1940s and 1950s, and the founding and mission of the Todd Webb Archive. Our primary topic, however, is the rediscovery (in a steamer trunk) and eventual archiving and publishing of Webb’s photographs taken in several African nations over the course of a multi-month assignment organized by the United Nations. The images are notable not only for their fateful recovery but for their large and medium format color composition and intelligent eye; they tell a vibrant story of Africa at a moment between colonization and independence.

With authors Bessire and Nolan, we discuss the making of their book, which is both a photography book of unique vision and a multifaceted study of the images themselves, with essays and interviews providing historical context and cultural and artistic analysis. Join us for this conversation on the work of an overlooked 20th-century master photographer and on a sweeping series of color photos that sat unseen for almost 60 years.

Guests: Betsy Evans Hunt, Aimée Bessire, and Erin Hyde Nolan

The New York Journal of Books

The New York Journal of Books

Todd Webb in Africa

"Every photo is almost a fiction or a dream,” wrote Sylvia Plachy, the longtime photographer for the Village Voice. If it's really good, it's another form of life."

In 1958 Todd Webb, famed photojournalist best known for his photographs of New York and Paris that straddled the often nebulous no man’s land between documentary and art, was sent on a five-month United Nations junket through Africa, ostensibly to document industrial progress throughout a host of countries that today largely have new names or no existence at all. He made 15,000 photographs, largely ignoring the reason for his trip. The U.N. ran 20 and left the rest on the cutting room floor.

The Article

The Article

Todd Webb in Africa

This is a lush compilation of photographs taken by Todd Webb in Sub-Saharan Africa over 60 years ago. They were all shot in 1958, halfway through the first 16 years of my life spent in Northern and Southern Rhodesia, now Zambia and Zimbabwe, and so bought alive memories and associations of a happy, sheltered childhood. They also reminded me that being brought up in a country far away from “home” (the UK, apparently), means one’s loyalties are often muddled and remain so. Since Colonial Africa’s legacy is, in any case, weighed down with ambivalence I did not immediately read the accompanying essays in Todd Webb in Africa, and instead immersed myself in the beauty and familiarity of the pictures. If photographs are witness to a moment in time, they are also hostage to interpretation and in the first instance, I preferred my own.

Indulge Magazine

Indulge Magazine

Todd Webb in Africa

TODD WEBB IN AFRICA Outside the Frame By Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan (Thames & Hudson) $50 Commissioned by the United Nations, prolific photographer, Todd Webb traveled over the course of four months in 1958 through Africa and captured the rare images featured here documenting its people, homes, landscapes, and activities. Essays by both African and American scholars, artists, historians, and photographers accompany the stunning images and provide invaluable insight.

Todd Webb Newsweek Japan - Africa 1958

Newsweek Japan

Review of Todd Webb in Africa

L'Oeil de La Photographie

L'Oeil de La Photographie

Todd Webb in Africa

In 1958, photographer Todd Webb, best known for his remarkable images of the everyday life and architecture of New York and Paris, as well as photographs of the American West, was commissioned by the United Nations Office of Public Information to document the progress of industry and technology in what were then eight different African nations, either recently independent or on the cusp of gaining independence in the aftermath of World War II.

The Vagabond Imperative

The Vagabond Imperative

Review of Todd Webb in Africa

American photographer, Todd Webb, went to Africa to document its industrial progress. Instead, he captured its soul.Our cover photo this issue is of a man cycling in Sudan in 1958. It was taken by American photographer Todd Webb. Webb was sent to Africa by the United Nations to document its industrial progress.

Blind

Blind

Todd Webb in Africa

Recently rediscovered photographs from Todd Webb’s five-month trip to Africa offer a look at the relationship between independence and imperialism in the Global South.

Musee

Musee

Review of Todd Webb in Africa

Photos of far-off places have always captivated audiences—they offer the chance to imagine all of the incredible corners there are to explore in the world, even while the viewer sits, stagnant, at home. Historic photographs give awe-inspiring glimpses of what life was like long before the viewer was born. Nevertheless, photographs can be deceiving, more than the travelogue novelty that they can sometimes be billed as. Photography can play an outsize role in shaping a person’s perspective on a people or a place.

Creative Boom

Creative Boom

Review of Todd Webb in Africa

Metal

Metal

Review of Todd Webb in Africa

It was in the mid-seventies, following an unfair transaction when an art dealer ended up with Webb’s trip negatives. After tracking down the collector who later bought them, Betsy Evans Hunt – gallery owner and Webb’s old friend – took the time to reach financial terms and rescue the archive. Today, the highlights of this compelling journey through Africa are being published in the book, which includes a hundred and fifty strikingly colourful images – most of them never seen before – and a new perspective on Todd Webbs’ photography.

AIAC TALK - Interview with Todd Webb in Africa authors

AIAC TALK - Interview with Todd Webb in Africa authors

Africa is a Country

Next, we’re talking to Aimée Bessire and Erin Hyde Nolan. Aimée is an affiliated scholar who teaches African art history and cultural studies at Bates College, and Erin is a visiting assistant professor at Maine College of Art, where she teaches the history of photography, and visual culture, and Islamic art. Both of them, are the authors of Todd Webb in Africa (Thames & Hudson, 2021), a collection of photographs taken in Africa by the renowned photographer Todd Webb. While his shots of everyday life in big, Western cities like Paris and New York are well-known, less so are the ones from his travels in Africa, taken in 1958 across Togo, Ghana, Sudan, Somalia, and what we now know as Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. That some of these countries were once known by different names, summarizes the period of tremendous change and upheaval that the photographs capture, located at the “interstices of colonialism and independence” as the authors write in the book’s introduction. We want to talk about the photographs, the people and places portrayed in them, but we also want to talk about the politics of photography itself—whose gaze reflects them, what narrative are they trying to push? For example, what are we to make of the fact that Webb’s project was commissioned by the United Nations?

Vanity Fair

Vanity Fair

Lost for Decades, These Stunning Color Photos of Africa in the 1950s Have Finally Been Published

The United Nations sent photographer Todd Webb to capture eight African countries during a period of rapid industrialization—but the pictures he came back with included beauty, fashion, jubilation, and much more.

 

Detroit Family - L'Oeil de la Photographie

Detroit Family - L'Oeil de la Photographie

1941-1942

Todd Webb Archive was inspired to put together this online exhibition as a small gesture of solidarity with all those who have taken to the streets to protest in the past few weeks.

In the early 1940’s, Todd Webb was living in Detroit and working for Chrysler. During his time at the company, he became friends with a co-worker by the name Harry Callahan. The two of them were both members of the company’s camera club, an affiliation that would lead them to take a workshop with Ansel Adams. Long story short, the ten day seminar with Adams proved to be a pivotal experience for the two men; a catalyst that changed the course of their lives and reverberates to this day in the annals of photographic history.

He didn't have anything to prove - photography was in his bones | By Michael Segalov

He didn't have anything to prove - photography was in his bones | By Michael Segalov

The photographs featured in this article are taken by one of the most exciting and important photographers of the 20th and 21st Century. The thing is, you’ve probably never heard of him. Word’s getting out about the truly extraordinary life and work of this artist, and it’s all thanks to one woman who has dedicated her life to his legacy. Writer Michael Segalov travelled to Portland, Maine, to ask Betsy Evans Hunt why we need to know more about Todd Webb.

It’s been 20 years since Betsy Evans Hunt last made the 30 mile drive to Bath, Maine from her home in Portland, although she still remembers the route perfectly: north up Highway 295 and onto the coastal town’s quaint High Street, past the Chocolate Church Art Centre and towards peaceful, leafy drives.

The Great Unknown at the New Mexico Museum of Art

The Great Unknown at the New Mexico Museum of Art

Review

Great photographers and artists such as Eliot Porter, Todd Webb and Georgia O’Keeffe have explored its haunted crags and canyons. Explorer and geologist John Wesley Powell led an expedition through the area in 1869, calling it “the great unknown.” Porter’s pivotal book “The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado,” published in 1963 by the Sierra Club to protest the dam, became a cornerstone of the environmental movement.

The Photobook Journal

The Photobook Journal

Review of 'I SEE A CITY'

This sumptuously printed oversized volume presents the best of Todd Webb’s New York City work, collected in an appealing sequence edited by Betsy Evans Hunt, the Executive Director of the Todd Webb Archive, who also details her connections to Webb in the appendix. There are also two illuminating essays, by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent, that supply details about the background of the photographer and his time. 

Art Eyewitness

Art Eyewitness

Review

Webb's photographic journey through old New York is the subject of a brilliant book published by Thames & Hudson, I See A City: Todd Webb's New York. An exhibition of Webb's photos was presented last year at the Museum of the City of New York.

AIPAD 2018

AIPAD 2018

The Photography Show: Booth 310

This year we are proud to have a booth at AIPAD's Photography Show. Join us!

We will be showing :

Africa 1958: This newly discovered color work was made by Webb in Tanganigka (now known as Tanzania), Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) Sudan, Somalia, Ghana, Togo, and Kenya for five months commencing in April 1958. Commissioned by the United Nations, the vibrant photographs document people in their communities with a focus on workers and local industries. The series is distinctive for being in color and the only known photographic documentation of its kind during this period.

New York Post-World War II: This series presents Webb's intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of the everyday life and architecture of New York in the years following World War II. In The New York Times Book Review of the book, Luc Sante writes: "I See A City: Todd Webb's New York shows an upbeat, down-market post-World War II Manhattan, filled with sidewalk vendors and one-story sheds and hand-painted signs... His pictures present a vividly comestible pedestrian-eye view, one that invites you to walk into that pawnshop, take a seat on that streetcar." 

 Among the prints on sale is the iconic Sixth Avenue panel -- a panorama of one block, Sixth Avenue, 1958 between 43rd and  44th streets, assembled from eight separate frames.

Portland Press Herald

Portland Press Herald

Review of 'I SEE A CITY'

When Betsy Evans Hunt met the photographer Todd Webb in 1988, he was done with the gallery scene. He was in his 80s by then, and had enjoyed many museum exhibitions and a successful international art career, critically and commercially. A bad experience with a gallery in the 1970s soured him on the prospects of going back down that road.

Instead, Hunt, who had just opened a gallery in Portland, pursued a friendship with Webb and his wife, Lucille, who had moved to Maine for their retirement. Hunt ended up selling some of Webb’s photographs, but their relationship was based on respect and genuine interest in each other’s lives and families.

NYT Book Review

NYT Book Review

A Spotlight on the Season’s Top Photography Books

I SEE A CITY: Todd Webb’s New York (Thames & Hudson, $45), written by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent and edited by Betsy Evans Hunt, shows an upbeat, down-market post-World War II Manhattan, filled with sidewalk vendors and one-story sheds and hand-painted signs. His main points of reference are Third Avenue (then shadowed by the el train), 125th Street and the East Side waterfront, which all still look like the 19th-century city, updated only slightly. His single most famous work is a panorama of one block, Sixth Avenue between 43rd and 44th Streets, assembled from eight separate frames, showing an easygoing, gently flyblown landscape of bars and juice and burger stands, secondhand-record stores, an artists’ supply, a pool hall. It seems as if all you have to do is cross the avenue to melt into the thin Sunday crowd of browsers and idlers. But that attitude is gone along with its setting, replaced by glass and steel.

Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic

I SEE A CITY: TODD WEBB'S NEW YORK

I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York, out today (November 21) from Thames & Hudson, chronicles this era of Webb’s postwar photography. Edited by Betsy Evans Hunt, the executive director of the Todd Webb Archive, it concentrates on photographs from the 1940s and ’50s. The book follows the A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960 exhibition recently at the Museum of the City of New York (MCNY), which commemorated a 1946 exhibition of Webb’s work at the museum. 

“Rather than concentrating on the glamorous nightlife and modern, shining towers often seen in magazines such as Life or Look in the postwar years, Webb was interested in finding the remarkable in the quotidian,” writes Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs at MCNY, in I See a City. 

New York Times

New York Times

Holiday Gift Guide - I See a City

For the New Yorker With a Mid-20th-Century Aesthetic

“I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York” (Thames & Hudson), by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent, is an evocative post-World War II tribute to the photographer’s body of work in black-and-white.

“Webb didn’t need people to show the presence of life,” Mr. Okrent writes in this feast for historians and sentimentalists.

As Webb said himself: “Often, I find subject matter with no visible persons to be more peopled than the crowded street scene. Every window, doorway, street, building, every mark on a wall, every sign, has a human connotation.”

 

Book Release - New York City

Book Release - New York City

Join Us

Join us in New York City to celebrate the arrival of I See A City: Todd Webb's New York (Thames and Hudson, 2017), edited by Betsy Evans Hunt.

Wenesday, December 13th, 6-8pm

 

The Curator Gallery

520 W 23rd Street

New York, NY 10011

 

Book Release - Portland

Book Release - Portland

Join Us

Join us in Portland to celebrate the arrival of I See A City: Todd Webb's New York(Thames and Hudson, 2017), edited by Betsy Evans Hunt.

Thursday, November 30th, 5-7pm

 

61 Pleasant Street, 104A

Portland, ME 04101

L'Oeil de la Photographie

L'Oeil de la Photographie

Published by Thames & Hudson, the book entitled I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York focuses on the work of American photographer Todd Webb produced in the megapol in the 1940s and 1950s. It is a rich portrait of the everyday life and architecture of New York, shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity.

Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern

Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern

Come see Todd Webb's prints at the Reynolda House in Winston-Salem -- an exhibit on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern. On view from Friday, August 18, 2017 - Sunday, November 19, 2017

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona—including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O'Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Todd Webb, and others. 

Collector Daily

Collector Daily

Review

Everything about this show feels right. The scale of the rooms; the cheerful colored backgrounds to the wall texts; the number, variety, selection, placement, quality, and lighting of the prints; the temperature of the air-conditioning; and of course the venue: the Museum of the City of New York launched Todd Webb’s career by sponsoring his first solo show, in 1946. Anyone could spend a pleasant hour here this summer learning more about this underappreciated photographer (1905-2000).

The Atlantic

The Atlantic

City Lab

New York City, teeming with action and iconic architecture, has often played the role of a photographer’s muse. Post-war photographer Todd Webb was not immune to its charm.

Freshly discharged from the Navy after World War II, Webb landed in New York, and his love of the city fueled his career as a full-time photographer. His images show the city in black and white and playfully juxtapose a formal aesthetic view with delightful snapshots of daily life in New York. The photos hold the city still: there are wide-angle shots of a smoky Midtown, a train speeding through Harlem, and sharply dressed urban dwellers that ground the work in a strong sense of place and neighborhood.

The Village Voice

The Village Voice

In the new exhibit "A City Seen: Todd Webb's Postwar New York, 1945–1960" at the Museum of the City of New York, there's a photograph titled simply 123rd Street, Harlem. It's an exterior shot of a storefront window with a handwritten sign that reads as follows: tailor is dead. H. Reid. but business will be carried on as usual by son. W. Reid.

AFAR

AFAR

 

Like so many of us do today, Todd Webb learned about a new city through the viewfinder of his camera—although back in 1945, his camera was hardly pocket-sized. Freshly discharged from the U.S. Navy following World War II, Webb landed in New York and, shouldering his heavy photography equipment, began to explore both the city and a fledgling career as a professional photographer.

One of Todd's O'Keeffe images featured in the New Yorker

One of Todd's O'Keeffe images featured in the New Yorker

DINNER WITH GEORGIA O’KEEFFE by Calvin Tomkins

The artist Georgia O’Keeffe in the kitchen of her home on the Ghost Ranch, in Abiquiú, New Mexico, in 1962.

Todd Webb's "I See a City"

Todd Webb's "I See a City"

Coming soon from Thames & Hudson

I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York focuses on the work of photographer Todd Webb produced in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. Webb photographed the city day and night, in all seasons and in all weather. Buildings, signage, vehicles, the passing throngs, isolated figures, curious eccentrics, odd corners, windows, doorways, alleyways, squares, avenues, storefronts, uptown, and downtown, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Harlem.

 

The Guardian

The Guardian

"New York City after the second world war - in pictures"

Todd Webb’s photographs of postwar New York depict the warmth and diversity of the city. He studied under Ansel Adams, and his beautiful black and white shots reflect that influence. The Museum of the City of New York is hosting a retrospective of his work, Todd Webb: A City Seen until 4 September.

Mashable

Mashable

"1945-1960 Todd Webb's New York"

In 1945, 40-year-old Todd Webb was discharged from the Navy and moved to New York City.

Webb had cycled through a litany of professions before his service in the war. He settled on photography after taking a class with Ansel Adams and meeting with Alfred Stieglitz on his way through the city in 1942.

My Modern Met

My Modern Met

"Stunning Street Photos Capture Simple Joys of Life in New York Right After WWII"

Born in 1905 and raised in Detroit, American street photographer Todd Webb led an adventurous life. After losing his money in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he spent time fruitlessly prospecting for gold until returning to his hometown and picking up a camera in 1938. It was there he found his calling.

Photographer RU

Photographer RU

К тому времени, как Тодд Уэбб (Todd Webb) появился в Нью-Йорке в 1945, событий в его жизни хватило бы на несколько жизней «обычных» людей. Он разорился в депрессию 1929 года; искал золото в Калифорнии, Мексике и Панаме; работал на заводе «Крайслер» в своём родном Детройте; учился у Ансела Адамса(Ansel Adams) и Харри Кэллахана (Harry Callahan); служил фотографом во флоте в Океании во время войны. Но именно в Нью-Йорке его страсть к фотографии стала развиваться по-настоящему, хотя и не без окольных путей.

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet

“See 1940s Postwar New York Through the Eyes of Photographer Todd Webb”

Two exhibitions have just opened in New York to celebrate the work of the late American photographer, Todd Webb. After honing his skills as a Navy photographer in the South Pacific during World War II, the Michigan photographer moved to New York in 1946, where he dedicated himself to photographing the everyday life and architecture of a city that captivated him. Armed with a large format camera and tripod, he walked around engaging with the people and the landscape surrounding him.
 

6sqft

6sqft

“The Urban Lens: Explore the whimsical photography of Todd Webb with former LIFE editor Bill Shapiro”

“I instantly fell in love with Webb’s work,” says former LIFE editor-in-chief Bill Shapiro, “with the beauty he captures, with his sense of the life of the street; with the way he frames both the sweeping, iconic skyline and those small, fleeting moments that define the city that New Yorkers love.”

The Art Newspaper

The Art Newspaper

“Three To See: New York”

The Museum of the City of New York has revived a 1946 exhibition of photographs by Todd Web that show the city “not as a glittering megalopolis, but as a community”, as the curator Beaumont Newhall wrote in a press release over 70 years ago. A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-60 (until 24 September) includes over 100 pictures by the Detroit-born artist who, after serving as a photographer for the US Navy in the South Pacific during the Second World War, moseyed to the Big Apple in 1945 and rubbed elbows with artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Walker Evans and Berenice Abbott.

NBC

NBC

“Todd Webb's 1940s Photos Show Ever-Bustling NYC”

In 1946, Todd Webb moved to New York City and began photographing the city that he saw. Webb had been training his eye for nearly a decade. After buying a camera in 1938, he completed a workshop with famed photographer Ansel Adams in 1940 before shipping out to the South Pacific, where he served as a U.S. Navy photographer in the Second World War. 
Webb brought his large-format camera and tripod with him around the city, photographing the everyday people and the built landscapes of New York. These photographs reached the public in his first exhibition, "I See a City," which opened in September 1946 at the Museum of the City of New York. 

 

Photo District News “Photo of the Day”

Photo District News “Photo of the Day”

“Todd Webb’s Vintage New York”

The exhibition opening today at the Museum of the City of New York is not Todd Webb’s first show there—that took place in 1946, when Webb was only a year into a new career as a professional photographer. That career followed several others—he had been a stockbroker before the Great Depression, and served in the Navy during World War II. But in photography he found a long term calling, and New York City was his long term subject.

Vogue

Vogue

“Todd Webb Captured Old New York”

Todd Webb, one of the heroes of New York photography whose images of the city and people have helped create our collective memory of the place—and who was a lesser sung contemporary of Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Beaumont Newhall, and other essential artists and curators of the modernist movement—is getting a retrospective a the Museum of the City of New York, opening today.

Feature Shoot

Feature Shoot

“The Iconic 1940s Photographer Who Never Wanted To Be Famous”

The photographs arrived at The Curator Gallery in a box meant for curator Bill Shapiro, the former editor of Life magazine. When he saw the first few pictures, the curator wondered if he could possibly be looking at the work of a Life photographer he didn’t recognize. He had never heard of the man behind the hundred-some images inside the box.

L’Oeil de la Photographie

L’Oeil de la Photographie

“Todd Webb: Inside His Pictures”

Todd Webb had been a stockbroker, a gold prospector, a fire ranger, and a military man. But once the war was over and he moved to New York City – sharing an apartment with photographer Harry Callahan – it didn’t take him long to make a remarkable circle of friends: Walker Evans, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Gordon Parks, Berenice Abbott, and on and on. Webb shot the iconic and idiosyncratic sides of New York, both her sweeping skylines as well those tiny, fleeting moments that define life in the City.

CNN

CNN

“Todd Webb’s Post-War New York”

Todd Webb's photographs of New York, post-World War II, will be on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York and The Curator Gallery from April 20.

Voices of New York

Voices of New York

“From Harlem to the Lower Eastside, Postwar Images of NYC”

After World War II, he chronicled the street life and streetscapes of New York City with a large format camera, traveling across 125th Street, down the length of the Third Avenue El, around the Lower East Side and to places in between. He captured “The Traffic Outrage” of “congestion” on the Avenue of the Americas for Fortune Magazine in 1946. He studied with Ansel Adams and became friends with photographers and artists such as Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Berenice Abbott, and Gordon Parks.

Artdaily.org

Artdaily.org

“First Major Museum Exhibition of Todd Webb’s Photographs Opens in New York”

NEW YORK, NY.- The Museum of the City of New York presents A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York 1945-1960, a photography exhibition highlighting Todd Webb’s personal exploration of the city that enthralled him while providing an expansive visual documentation of New York in the years following World War II. A City Seen opens to the public on Thursday, April 20 and will remain on view through Monday, September 4, 2017. 

Architectural Digest

Architectural Digest

“Meet the Famous Photographer You’ve Never Heard Of”

For his relative lack of fame, Todd Webb, an American photographer who spent much of the middle of the 20th century documenting the residents and buildings of New York and Paris, had no shortage of well-known friends and colleagues. In his intimate ranks were Walker Evans, Georgia O’Keeffe, Gordon Parks, Ansel Adams, and Alfred Stieglitz, among others. Though he was recognized among certain cognoscenti during his most active years, Webb, whose biography reads like a work of adventure fiction, had plenty to distract him from the trifles of stardom—including time spent as a fire ranger for the U.S. Forestry Service, naval photographer in World War II, gold prospector in Panama, and resident of, in turn, Provence, France; Bath, England; and Portland, Maine.

Gothamist

Gothamist

“Photographer Todd Webb’s Stunning Photographs of 1940s NYC”

Over 70 years after his first exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, photographer Todd Webb is getting his second one. The posthumous celebration of his work comes with a smaller showing in Chelsea, at The Curator Gallery; both shows open on April 20th. Webb's photos are stunning, and his list of fans and supporters of the time are well-known—Alfred Stieglitz, Berenice Abbott, Georgia O’Keeffe—but had you ever heard of him? I hadn't, nor had anyone I asked, including former LIFE Magazine editor-in-chief Bill Shapiro, who curated the upcoming exhibit in Chelsea.

Fortune

Fortune

“See 1940s New York City Through the Eyes of a Fortune Photographer”

 

Todd Webb was a Michigan-born photographer who spent his life photographing everyday existence in New York, the American Southwest, and Paris. Though not as well-known as some of his contemporaries, he has been compared to photographers like Berenice Abbott, Eugene Atget, and Walker Evans, the famed chronicler of Depression-era rural America.

Juxtapoz

Juxtapoz

“A Glimpse Into Postwar New York Through Todd Webb’s Images”

Now, 70 years after his first exhibit at Museum of the City of New York, Webb is getting his second exhibition in conjunction with another at Curator Gallery. As a newly discharged Navy veteran, Webb (1905-2000) moved to New York in 1945 to dedicate a year to photographing the city. Armed with a large format camera and tripod, he worked relentlessly and the year turned into several decades. Webb’s images captured the city’s contrasts—from Midtown’s skyscrapers to the Lower East Side’s tenements, from high-powered businessmen in the Financial District to the remnants of old ethnic enclaves in Lower Manhattan. 

New York Times Lens Blog

New York Times Lens Blog

“Vintage Photos of What Made Postwar New York City Tick”

By the time Todd Webb arrived in New York City in 1945, he’d lived enough lives for several men. He had lost his fortune in the 1929 crash; hunted for gold in California, Mexico and Panama; worked for Chrysler in his hometown, Detroit; and served in the South Pacific as a photographer’s mate first class. But it was in New York City that his love of photography took off, albeit with a slight detour.

In 1942, on his way to report for duty in the United States Navy, Mr. Webb passed through New York to meet with Dorothy Norman, the manager of Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, An American Place. He sold three of his photos to her before shipping off to war, only to return in 1945. A year later, he had his first exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, where he is now having a homecoming in “A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960,” which opens on April 20. (The day before, “Down Any Street: Todd Webb’s Photographs of New York, 1946-1960” will open at The Curator Gallery in Chelsea.)

New York Times Metro Section

New York Times Metro Section

“Signs of Life in Todd Webb’s New York”

By the time Todd Webb arrived in New York City in 1945, he had lived enough lives for several men. He lost his fortune in the 1929 crash; hunted for gold in California, Mexico and Panama; worked for Chrysler in Detroit, his hometown; and served in the South Pacific as a photographer’s mate. But it was in New York where his love of photography took off, though with a slight detour.

In 1942, on his way to report for duty in the Navy, Mr. Webb passed through New York to meet with the manager of Alfred Stieglitz’s gallery, An American Place. He sold three of his photos before shipping off to war. A year after he returned, in 1945, he had his first exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York, where he is now having a homecoming in “A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York 1945-1960,” which opens on April 20.

Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern

Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern

Book

Order a copy of the wonderful book Wanda Corn put together to accompany the show at the Brooklyn Museum! It features several great pictures of O'Keeffe by our very own Todd Webb. 

 

 

Upcoming Event - May 16th:

Upcoming Event - May 16th:

MCNY

Following World War II, Detroit-born Navy photographer Todd Webb moved to New York City and took pictures of the city’s residents, booming waterfront, and rising skyline. Webb’s pictures show a city alive with hope, industry, and peace. But what does it mean to capture the spirit of a city? And why has Webb’s oeuvre faded from public view compared to his peers? A panel of authors and curators examines the world of street photography in the 1940s and 50s -- and Webb’s legacy within it. Presented in conjunction with A City Seen: Todd Webb's Post War New York, 1945-1960 (exhibition opens April 20).

Daniel Okrent, author of Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (2004); contributor to a forthcoming book on Webb
Julia Van Haaften, independent curator and author of books about photography, including a forthcoming biography of Berenice Abbott
Sean Corcoran (moderator), Curator of Prints and Photographs, Museum of the City of New York 

$20 for adults | $15 for seniors, students & educators (with ID) | $10 for Museum members. Includes Museum admission.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER TICKETS

Georgia O'Keeffe:

Georgia O'Keeffe:

Living Modern

Come see Todd Webb's prints at the Brooklyn Museum's exhibit on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe; Living Modern

Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern takes a new look at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted public persona—including her clothing and the way she posed for the camera. The exhibition expands our understanding of O'Keeffe by focusing on her wardrobe, shown for the first time alongside key paintings and photographs. It confirms and explores her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.

In addition to selected paintings and items of clothing, the exhibition presents photographs of O’Keeffe and her homes by Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Yousuf Karsh, Cecil Beaton, Andy Warhol, Bruce Weber, Todd Webb, and others. It also includes works that entered the Brooklyn collection following O’Keeffe’s first-ever museum exhibition—held at the Brooklyn Museum in 1927.

 

Curator Gallery

Curator Gallery

Reception: April 19th

On Wednesday, April 19, a solo exhibition curated by Bill Shapiro entitled Down Any Street: Todd Webb’s Photographs of New York 1946-1960 will open at The Curator Gallery, a commercial gallery space located in the heart of New York’s Chelsea art district. The gallery show will include vintage prints as well as modern prints made by John Hill, a printer/designer who served as the executor of Walker Evans' estate. 

520 West 23rd Street, New York, NY 10011

6-8pm

Todd Webb Exhibition at MCNY

Todd Webb Exhibition at MCNY

Postwar New York, 1945-1960

2017

April 20th - September 4th

A photographer's exploration of New York City in the years following World War II.

A City Seen: Todd Webb’s Postwar New York, 1945-1960 examines New York through the eyes—and lens—of photographer Todd Webb. Featuring more than 100 images, accompanied by entries from Webb’s own journal, the exhibition highlights Todd Webb’s personal exploration of the city that enthralled him while providing an expansive document of New York in the years following World War II.

21st Editions - Todd Webb

21st Editions - Todd Webb

New York, 1946

Todd Webb: New York, 1946
Journal Entries by Todd Webb
Edited and with an Introduction by John Stauffer
Photographs by Todd Webb
15 bound and 3 loose Estate platinum prints
Plus 2 vintage silver prints that were printed and signed by Todd Webb
Edition: 37 copies
13.5 x 13.5 inches
Handcrafted in New England

This title is a remarkable story told through Todd Webb's journal entries. Webb's association with Alfred Stieglitz was an intimate one, as his was with Berenice Abbot, Beaumont Newhall, Harry and Eleanor Callahan (housemates), Georgia O'Keefe, and others. 1946 was an auspicious year that saw the deaths of Stieglitz, Gertrude Stein, Joseph Stella, Arthur Dove, and Moholy-Nagy. This is a rare look into New York, the life of Webb, and those in his circle that have defined the standard for a great photograph, then and now.

For more info, please e-mail us at info@toddwebbarchive.com

We've Moved!

We've Moved!

2016


We've Moved!
At the end of August we moved Todd's archive down the street to a great space in the Bakery Studio building. Our new address is:

61 Pleasant Street, Suite 104A
Portland, ME. 04101

Come visit, we're here by chance or appointment.
1.207.879.0042

Boston Globe

Boston Globe

Ogunquit Museum Review

OGUNQUIT, Maine — “Todd Webb: Georgia O’Keeffe & the American West” has a rather grand title. That it’s not a grand-scale show constitutes much of its charm and merit. It runs through Sept. 27 at the Ogunquit Museum of American Art.

The exhibition consists of just 20 photographs, all black- and-white, taken between 1961 and 1977. Only 14 actually include O’Keeffe. The others are of the painter’s beloved Ghost Ranch and her home and studio, in Abiquiu, N.M. It’s pleasing to note that the studio is as spare and desert-clean as O’Keefe’s art.

Daily Mail

Daily Mail

These stunning photographs show a lost vision of New York City, where streetcars barreled down Third Avenue, the Empire State Building was the tallest in town - and five cents could get you a a bag of fresh-roasted peanuts.

Taken by photographer Todd Webb in 1946, the collection of 15 black and white images show the then-bustling docks of Manhattan, the skyline as it was before glass-clad skyscrapers rose up in decades to come - and the people who called the city home.

 

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