(American, b. 1933)
Gelatin silver print
Paper: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)
Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.771
© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
Many of the clients who frequented this restaurant on New York’s Lower East Side were Holocaust survivors.
Davidson encountered the Garden Cafeteria in the early 1970s while making a film on Polish-born American author Isaac Bashevis Singer, who was a regular customer. Its clientele, mostly Jews who immigrated after World War II, appealed to Davidson because his own family were Jews who had emigrated from Poland. He spent hours with his sitters, learning their histories before empathetically clicking the shutter.
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