Gorgeous 1940s Noir Photos of NYC and Its People by Famed Photographer Esther Bubley

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Esther Bubley was born on February 16, 1921 in Phillips, WisconsinLIFE Magazine first hit the newsstands while Esther was a senior in High School. Inspired by the magazine, and particularly by the pictures of the Great Depression produced by the Farm Security Administration, she developed a passion for photojournalism and documentary photography. Esther didn’t follow in the footsteps of many other women of the time. After college she moved to New York City. She became a protégée of Roy Stryker’s at the U.S. Office of War Information and subsequently at the Standard Oil Company, shooting freelance photography all over America.

 

Ms. Bubley was a member of  the “New York School of Photography,” which refers to a loosely defined group of photographers who lived and worked in New York City during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s sharing influences, subjects and stylistic earmarks. These photographers would capture life in New York not as “the big city,” but as a collection of neighborhoods, people, and emotions that would later define what we now consider top of mind when thinking about the nostalgic way New York used to be. It’s the bright lights of Coney Island, the hustle and bustle on the Manhattan sidewalk, and the stroll in Central Park that interested these photographers. The men and women of this movement are artists like Ruth Orkin, Saul Leiter, Ernst Haas , Ted Croner, and Vivian Maier. Take a look at these stunning photos shot by Esther Bubley, which capture life in 1940s New York City perfectly.

 

bus_backtoback

 

bus_coast

 

bus_girls

 

bus_buffalo

 

bus_two_asleep

 

bus_window_nyc

 

cb_children_game

 

bus_two_men

 

cb_suspenders

 

cb_toni_parks

 

cbureau_girl_el_window

 

cb_sprinkler_street

 

cbureau_girl_man_el

 

cbureau_red_hearts

 

harbor_story_bbridge_scaffold

 

harbor_story_bbridge_south_street

 

 

harbor_story_lower_manhattan

 

harbor_story_storefront

 

hldtribune_first_model_3corsets

 

hldtribune_first_one_corset

 

hldtribune_first_onearms_corset

 

hldtribune_first_oneseated_corset

 

Katz_2

 

Katz_dance_B

 

life_choir_gun

 

life_choir_singing

 

life_choir_yawn

 

nyc_2women_edge_of_doom

 

nyc_2women_shop

 

nyc_automat_feed

 

nyc_automat_man

 

nyc_automat_woman_drink

 

nyc_automat_woman_finger

 

nyc_coney_custard

 

nyc_coney_funny_place

 

nyc_coney_hoffie_stix

 

nyc_coney_parachute

 

nyc_coney_socks

 

nyc_coney_visor

 

nyc_cp_girl_madhatter

 

nyc_cp_police_rowboat nyc_cp_young_birdwatcher

 

nyc_into_subway

 

nyc_jazzmobile

 

nyc_johnnyrayfans_cop

 

nyc_manhole_covers

 

nyc_newsstand

 

nyc_police_kids

 

nyc_popeye_balloon

 

nyc_radiocity_line_rain

 

nyc_rockefeller_2women

 

nyc_rockefeller_couple

 

nyc_rockefeller_girl

 

sonj_bus_wilkes_barre

 

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Like these photos by Esther Bubley? Check out the work of…

 

Ted Croner

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Frank Horvat

Steam-jet-in-the-morning-sun-1984

 

Saul Leiter

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Ernst Haas

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Ruth Orkin

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