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In Photos: Capturing Quotidian Life In Post-WWII New York City

Bronx-born photographer Larry Silver captured everyday moments that shape NYC's history

Macy's Parade, 1951
Macy's Parade, 1951
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS

New York City's post-World War II era was dichotomous: marked by tremendous prosperity as a flourishing global economic center and also by the white flight that would divide its population for decades. Photographer Larry Silver, a Bronx native, was there to capture it all. From the perspective of an observant sidewalk fellow, Silver photographed the day-to-day life of post-WWII New Yorkers while also capturing the immense transformation of its built environment.

Running from July 1 through December 4 at the New-York Historical Society, Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949-1955 puts 45 of the future advertising photographer's early works on display.

"His photographs convey the spirit of the post-World War II era, of a city rebuilding after years at war and transforming into the metropolis we know today," Marilyn Satin Kushner, Curator and Head, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections at NYHS says of the exhibit in a statement. "Though they were taken decades ago, there is also something familiar in the faces Silver captured. It’s an energy New Yorkers will recognize."

Children on United Nations Construction Pile, 1951
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS
Boy on Rooftop, 1951
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS
Raft, New York Botanical Garden, 1950
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS
Manhattan Backyard, 1952
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS
Nearby Eggs, 1952
Larry Silver courtesy of NYHS

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