Danny Lyon: The Destruction of Lower Manhattan

Danny Lyon: The Destruction of Lower Manhattan


Already a respected photographer at age 25, Danny Lyon returned to his hometown of New York in 1966 and settled in Lower Manhattan. After observing that half the buildings on his street were boarded up, he learned that a 60-acre area was slated for urban renewal—a wholesale leveling of several neighborhoods, including one of the city’s oldest. He realized that his next project must be this momentous transition and envisioned images that would be both document and eulogy. “I came to see the buildings as fossils of a time past,” wrote Lyon. “For a hundred years they have stood in the darkness and the day. . . . Now, in the end, they are visited by demolition men . . . pulling apart brick by brick and beam by beam the work of other American workers who once stood on the same walls and held the same bricks, then new, so long ago.”

This exhibition of 52 photographs from the museum’s collection, all recent gifts from George Stephanopoulos, coincides with FRONT, a regional contemporary triennial exhibition with the inaugural theme “An American City: Eleven Cultural Exercises.” Lyon’s documentary series became the model for visual work addressing the aging infrastructure of American cities, now sometimes called ruin porn, and the perils of the 1960s policy of urban renewal through demolition.

Danny Lyon
The Destruction of Lower Manhattan
May 19, 2018 – October 07, 2018

Cleveland Museum of Art
11150 East Boulevard
Cleveland – 44106 OH
www.clevelandart.org

174 Chambers Street at Bishop’s Lane, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 29.7 x 23.4 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.260. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

174 Chambers Street at Bishop’s Lane, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 29.7 x 23.4 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.260. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

Wall of the Saint George Building, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 23.1 x 29.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2012.430. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

Wall of the Saint George Building, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 23.1 x 29.5 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2012.430. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

327, 329, and 331 Washington Street, Between Jay and Harrison Streets, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 23.5 x 30 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.253. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

327, 329, and 331 Washington Street, Between Jay and Harrison Streets, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 23.5 x 30 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.253. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

Eddie Grant and Cleveland Sims, Washington Street Maintenance Men from the New York City Department of Urban Renewal, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 24.8 x 24.7 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.265. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos

Eddie Grant and Cleveland Sims, Washington Street Maintenance Men from the New York City Department of Urban Renewal, 1966–67. Danny Lyon (American, born 1942). Gelatin silver print; 24.8 x 24.7 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of George Stephanopoulos, 2011.265. © Danny Lyon / Magnum Photos


Comments

comments