May 22, 2017
May 22, 2017

Girl with Polio, Rivington St., Lower East Side, NY

Girl with Polio, Rivington St., Lower East Side, NY

1938 (printed later)

Walter Rosenblum

(American, 1919–2006)

Gelatin silver print, gold-toned

Image: 17.3 x 22.3 cm (6 13/16 x 8 3/4 in.); Paper: 18 x 23 cm (7 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.)

Gift of the Rosenblum Family 2017.80



Taken at the height of the Depression when Rosenblum was 19, these images depict a world he knew intimately. One of five children of immigrant parents, Rosenblum grew up in a three-room flat with no hot water in one of the tenement buildings that filled New York’s Lower East Side, not far from Rivington and Pitt Streets. Because the apartments were small and crowded, much of life was lived on the street, providing ample material for Rosenblum’s camera. His photographs demonstrate the humanity and courage of individuals who survive, and even experience joy, in stressful environments.

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