The viewing publics image of Weegee is of the prototypical New York tabloid news photographer: tough, garrulous and on the scene, ready to cover two murders in one night. But the inventive Jewish immigrant Arthur Fellig (1899-1968), who assumed the self-mocking nickname Weegee, was also one of the most original and creative photographers of the twentieth century. His work for The New York Times, the Herald Tribune, World-Telegram, Daily News, Post, Journal-American and Sun, his images of the masses at Coney Island, the confrontation of wealth and poverty at opening night at the opera, and the aftermath of brutal crime scenes are, by now, classics. But beyond the iconic images that have been so widely circulated, what do we know of Weegee the photographer–his history, his methods, his meaning? Drawing on ICP’s unique archive of nearly 20,000 prints by this celebrated master, Unknown Weegee presents 120 photographs that have never been made available to the public. They reveal a politically astute and witty social critic and attest to the seriousness and self-consciousness of his photographic endeavors. With essays by Luc Sante and ICP curator Cynthia Young.
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