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10 Gritty Vintage Photos That Capture 1940s New York City

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One of New York City's most beloved street photographers passed away last week at the age of 98. Rebecca Lepkoff, as the story goes, first got into photography after she worked as a dancer at the 1939 World's Fair, using her earnings to buy a second-hand camera. From her home on the Lower East Side, she chronicled its changes via images of children playing, industrial activity at the waterfront, everyday commuters on the El, billboards at movie houses, and more. Her passion was the "urban choreography, rapid movement, and spontaneity of New York's bustling streets," according to Tablet's obituary, and she was able to document the "thrumming commotion of New York at a time when the theater of daily, blue-collar life took place not in the small, cramped tenement dwellings but on the sidewalks, stoops, docks, fire escapes, storefronts, and rooftops."

· Rebecca Lepkoff [official]
· Rebecca Lepkoff [Howard Greenburg Gallery]
· Remembering Photographer Rebecca Lepkoff [Tablet]
· Sepia Tones archive [Curbed]