Vivian Cherry's New York

By Vivian Cherry (Photographer); Julia Van Haaften (Introduction by)
powerHouse Books, Hardcover, 9781576875193, 113pp.

Publication Date: November 9, 2010

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“Dancer-turned-photographer Vivian Cherry has been capturing the quirks of New York City for nearly 70 years, and has yet to grow tired of it.”            —New York Daily News

New York City is characterized by its sheer diversity, as well as the substantial level of open-mindedness consistently displayed by its residents—making it irresistible to all kinds of people from all walks of life. Centuries of large-scale waves of immigration accompanied by a steady stream of freethinking American migrants have created the archetypal melting pot that it is today. 

Photographer Vivian Cherry knows New Yorkers. This is reasonable considering she’s been capturing them in their natural habitat for over half a century. One of the last surviving members of the Photo League, a cooperative of photographers that in the 1930s and 40s embraced social realism, Cherry shoots her subjects against the backdrop of the city, combining informal portraiture with gritty cityscapes. Her first powerHouse book, Helluva Town: New York City in the 1940s and 50s, was released to critical acclaim. Now she returns with Vivian Cherry’s New York, a collection of work shot in the past decade, in which she continues to present her audience with pictures that are raw and real, while at the same time affectionate and warm.

About the Author
As a young woman, Cherry danced with the Helen Tamiris Dance Company and in concert, and nightclubs including the La Conga and Le Bal Taberin. She was a soloist at the Roxy Theater, and danced on Broadway in Sadie Thompson and in the 1945 a revival of Showboat. After a knee injury she took a job as a darkroom technician for Underwood and Underwood where she developed printing skills. In 1946 she joined the Photo League and studied with Sid Grossman, and soon began selling her photographic essays to magazines such as Life, Look, Popular Photography, Pageant, Jubilee, Coronet, This Week, Salon Photography, Amerika, Redbook, Scope, Parade, Ebony, Sports Illustrated and Colliers. She worked with Arnold Eagle on a documentary film about the Actor's Studio and its director, Lee Strasberg. She also produced and photographed a children's film, Hello Halloween. In 2000, the Brooklyn Museum mounted a major retrospective of her work. In addition she has exhibited and is the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, International Center For Photography NYC, National Portrait Gallery-Smithsonian, Washington, DC, The Jewish Museum, NYC, The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus OH, Microsoft, Seattle, WA, Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe. NM, Lee Gallery, Winchester, MA, Higher Pictures, NYC, Marquette University, WI, Soho Photo, NYC, Central Fine Arts, NYC, New York Public Library, NYC, The Gallery at St Mary's College, St Mary's City, MD, Soho Triad, NYC, SK Josephson Gallery, Portland, OR and many others. Vivian Cherry has her photographs appearing in many books including - Picturing NY-Museum of Modern Art, The Long Loneliness, Dorothy Day-Harper One, Only Skin Deep-Abrams, Revolution Of the Heart-Temple University Press, Remembering the Lower East Side-Indiana University Press, Loaves and Fishes- Harper & Row, Cityscapes-Columbia University Press, The Radical Camera- Yale University Press etc. Cherry has two books of her photographs published by powerHouse. They are They are Helluva Town: New York in the 1940's and 50's (2007) and Vivian Cherry's New York (2010).

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