On January 23, 1931, architects dressed up as the buildings they designed for the Beaux-Arts Ball in New York. In this week’s featured story, they are pictured from left to right, A. Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, Ralph Walker as the Wall Street Building and Joseph Freedlander as the Museum of the City of New York.
Watch the entire newsreel, featuring a polar submarine, a train wreck, Charles Lindbergh receiving a medal from a French ambassador, dancing dogs, and “dangerous” figure skating, among other stories here.
Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. In 1974, Universal deeded its collection to the United States through the National Archives and is one of our most used motion picture collections. Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.
Aerial view of the new 50-story General Motos Building (Edward Durell Stone-Emery Roth & Sons, 1968), nearing completion, at center, with Central Park at background, in Spring 1968, showing the Art Deco Squibb Building (Ely Jacques Kahn, 1930) at its left and Fuller Building (Walker & Gillette, 1929, at its right. The modern 29-story black-green tinted glass Corning Glass Building (Harrison & Abramovitz, 1959) can be visible at left, at foreground.
Photo: Aspect Picture Library.
Source: Mary Moore Mason. “The Picture Book of the U.S.A., in Color”. New York, Diadem Books, 1974.
Joel Meyerowitz: Between the Dog and the Wolf - Exhibitions - Howard Greenberg Gallery
Above Photo: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 1977 Archival pigment print; printed 2017 29 ¼ x 37 inches From an Edition of 10
TWO EXHIBITONS BY JOEL MEYEROWITZ
BETWEEN THE DOG AND THE WOLF and MORANDI, CÉZANNE AND ME
HOWARD GREENBERG GALLERY
The Fuller Building 41 East 57th Street Suite 1406
September 7 – October 21, 2017
NEW YORK – Two exhibitions of photographs by Joel Meyerowitz will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery from September 7 to October 21, 2017. Between the Dog and the Wolf presents images from the 1970s and 80s made in those mysterious moments around dusk. Many of the works will be on display for the first time. Morandi, Cézanne and Me surveys Meyerowitz’s recent still lifes of objects from Paul Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence and Giorgio Morandi’s in Bologna. The exhibitions will open with a reception on September 7, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Two new books of photographs by Meyerowitz are to be published: Joel Meyerowitz: Cézanne’s Objects (Damiani, October 2017) and Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective (Laurence King, January 2018).
The exhibition title Between the Dog and the Wolf is a translation of a common French expression “Entre chien et loup,” which refers to oncoming twilight. As Meyerowitz notes, “It seemed to me that the French liken the twilight to the notion of the tame and the savage, the known and the unknown, where that special moment of the fading of the light offers us an entrance into the place where our senses might fail us slightly, making us vulnerable to the vagaries of our imagination.”
The majority of the photographs in the exhibition are from a period when Meyerowitz was spending summers on Cape Cod and had just begun working with an 8x10 view camera. “My whole way of seeing was both challenged and refreshed. I found that time became a greater element in my work. The view camera demands longer exposures, and I began looking into the oncoming twilight and seeing things that the small cameras either couldn’t handle or didn’t present in significant enough quality,” Meyerowitz explains. “What seems of more value to me now, 30 years later, is how that devotion to the questions back then taught me to see in a new and simpler way.”
The exhibition features photographs taken concurrently with Meyerowitz’s iconic series Cape Light, widely recognized for his use of color and appreciation of light. A young woman is perched on a wall that overlooks the Cape Cod Bay in a 1984 print, with the last of the daylight fading into a pink haze. A 1977 view of a dark house with one lit window has a sandy front yard with a sagging badminton net, an abandoned tricycle, and a blue doghouse with peeling paint. In a nearly abstract image from 1984, the viewer can barely see lights from a house on the beach as night falls. Other locations show a view of a serene sky with St. Louis’ Gateway Arch from 1977 and a palm tree in fading blue light in Florida from 1979.
As Meyerowitz notes, “I am grateful that my experience has allowed me to work both as a street photographer and as a view-camera photographer, and that I’m comfortable with both vocabularies. I speak two languages, classical and jazz. Street photography is jazz. The view camera, being so much slower, is more classical, more meditative, it has a different way of showing its content. You can be a jazz musician and play classically, and you can be a classical musician and love the immediacy and improvisation of jazz.”
“Men would gather on 23rd Street in hopes of catching a glimpse of an ankle.”
In the late 19th century, the United States was experiencing an economic boom, which meant buildings in major cities grew faster and taller. The “skyscraper” was made possible by steel frameworks and the invention of the elevator.
The Fuller company, famed for its skyscraper designs, purchased a triangular plot in Manhattan on 23rd Street. The space was known as the Flatiron for its resemblance to a household clothes iron. Architect Daniel Burnham designed a building in the Beaux-Arts style, incorporating classical Roman features into a modern building with sculpted decoration.
During its construction, many thought the wind would blow the building down, due to its odd height and shape. Thus, it was nicknamed “Burnham’s Folly.”
The wind rumors added to the skyscraper’s notoriety. Unpredictable gusts around the building’s unique shape could knock people over and lift the skirts of ladies passing by. Men would gather on 23rd Street in hopes of catching a glimpse of an ankle. Supposedly, policemen shooing gawkers away was the origin of the popular phrase “23 Skiddoo.”
Upon completion in June 1902, the 20-story Flatiron Building was the tallest building in New York. It was originally intended to be called the Fuller Building, but the Flatiron name stuck and was eventually adopted officially. The neighborhood around it is called the Flatiron District to this day.