Vintage: City Life of New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

Vintage: City Life of New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)


Fred Stein was born on July 3, 1909 in Dresden, Germany. As a teenager he was deeply interested in politics and became an early anti-Nazi activist. He was a brilliant student, and went to Leipzig University, full of humanist ideals, to study law. He obtained a law degree in an impressively short time, but was denied admission to the German bar by the Nazi government for “racial and political reasons.” The threat of Fascism grew more and more dangerous and after the SS began making inquiries about him, Stein fled to Paris in 1933 with his new wife, Liselotte Salzburg, under the pretext of taking a honeymoon.

New York was a vibrant center of culture, and Stein seized the opportunity. He met and photographed writers, artists, scientists, politicians, and philosophers whose work he knew through his extensive reading and study. This enabled him to engage them in conversation during portrait sessions. He continued his fascination with humanity, walking through the streets of New York, documenting life from Fifth Avenue to Harlem. He worked unobtrusively and quickly, valuing the freedom to capture the telling moment that reveals the subject in its own light, not as incidental material for photographic interpretation. He preferred natural or minimal lighting, and avoided elaborate setups as well as dramatic effects. He did not retouch or manipulate the negative. Having a deep commitment to social equality and a concern for his fellow man, he became a member of the Photo League. Though portraits were his main income-generating work and he photographed many people on commission, he generally worked without assignment, shooting people and scenes that interested him. He would then offer his work to publishers and photo editors of magazines, newspapers, and books.

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-01

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-02

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-03

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-04

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-05

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-06

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-07

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-08

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-09

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-10

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-11

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-12

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-13

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-14

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-15

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-16

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-17

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-18

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-19

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-20

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-21

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-22

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-23

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-24

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)

vintage-black-and-white-photos-of-city-life-in-new-york-city-by-fred-stein-1940s-25

Vintage black and white photos of City Life in New York City by Fred Stein (1940s)


Comments

comments