(American, b. 1933)
Gelatin silver print
Paper: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.)
© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.754
One of Davidson’s best-known series, Brooklyn Gang was inspired by a news story about a teenage gang called the Jokers.
The pleasures and agonies of teenage romance are captured in Bruce Davidson’s photographs of the gang’s dance parties, which were held variously in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, at a neighborhood school, and in members’ homes. The basement wallpaper seen here—with its fairy-tale figures, including horses, queens, knights, marionettes, and jokers—suggests a domestic setting. The event could have been a farewell party for an older gang member going off to join the army, which was a common occurrence.
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