I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York focuses on the work photographer Todd Webb produced in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. Webb photographed the city day and night, in all seasons, and in all weather. Buildings, signage, vehicles, the passing throngs, isolated figures, curious eccentrics—from the Brooklyn Bridge to Harlem, this book is a rich portrait of the everyday life and architecture of New York. Webb’s work is focused and layered with light and shadow, capturing the soul of this city shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity.
A native of Detroit, Webb studied photography in the 1930s under the guidance of Ansel Adams at the Detroit Camera Club, served as a navy photographer during World War II, and went on to become a successful postwar photographer. His work is in many museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery of Art in Washington. This book, now available in a compact edition, helps contemporary audiences get to know a forgotten American artist and an ever-changing city.
An evocative post-World War II tribute to the photographer's body of work in black-and-white [and a] feast for historians and sentimentalists.
— New York Times
I See a City: Todd Webb's New York shows an upbeat, down-market post-World War II Manhattan, filled with sidewalk vendors and one-story sheds and hand-painted signs…His pictures present a vividly comestible pedestrian- eye view, one that invites you to walk into that pawnshop, take a seat on that streetcar.
— New York Times Book Review
Sean Corcoran is the Curator of Prints and Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York.
Daniel Ockrent is an American writer and editor.
Todd Webb was an American photographer.