Untitled (40046)

Brooklyn Gang

Untitled (40046)

1959

Bruce Davidson

(American, b. 1933)

Gelatin silver print

Paper: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.)

Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.680

Location

Did you know?

One of Davidson’s best-known series, Brooklyn Gang was inspired by a news story he read about a teenage gang called the Jokers.

Description

In the 1950s, almost every residential block in New York had a candy store that served as community center, soda fountain, and newsstand, with a pay phone. Helen’s Candy Store was the Jokers’ home away from home. “Helen was like our mother,” recalled gang member Bob Powers. Most of the members were 15 or 16 years old. Over the years, some members died from cirrhosis, drugs, and shootings, but others went on to become police officers, a clerk for the state supreme court, an electrician, a transit worker, a hospital administrator, and a singer.

See also
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph

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