Love in the Time of Weegee

As we continue to inventory and image the Museum’s holdings from the LOOK Magazine archives , we’ve discovered troves of images taken by famous photographers on assignment for the magazine.  Weegee is one of them.

The Museum has a handful of non-LOOK photographs depicting subjects that Weegee is mainly known for: sensational images of crime scenes.  The image below shows the bloodied corpse of Carlo Tresca, a socialist-turned-anarchist and the editor of an anti-Fascist newspaper.   Although Tresca managed to avoid multiple assassination attempts, his life came to an end while crossing Fifth Avenue and 13th Street.  A black Ford containing a squat gunman pulled up beside him and fired, shooting Tresca in the head.

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Man shining light on body of Carlo Tresca, New York.1943. Museum of the City of New York. 84.195.1

Weegee also captured police officers aiding an inebriated man.

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). The Cocktail Hour. 1950. Museum of the City of New York. 84.195.4

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Policeman with wrapping paper-covered body of Lewis Sandano, New York. 1940. Museum of the City of New York. 84.195.10

The grim scene above shows the prone body of Lewis Sandano, shot and killed by policemen as he fled with a stolen overcoat.

Weegee shows a softer side in a 1948 series of photographs for LOOK showing soldiers returning from World War II and reuniting with their loved ones.

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Penn Station, 1948. Museum of the City of New York. X2012.4.10720.1

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Penn Station, 1948. Museum of the City of New York. X2012.4.10720.14

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Penn Station, 1948. Museum of the City of New York. X2012.4.10720.16

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Penn Station, 1948. Museum of the City of New York. X2012.4.10720.13

Arthur (Weegee) Fellig (1899-1968). Penn Station, 1948. Museum of the City of New York. X2012.4.10720.24

His Penn Station images are hopeful and sentimental, and the viewer’s desire to look at them is compelled by something other than the grit of humanity.  In either case, however, Weegee’s photos portray an immense love for the city and care for his subjects whether deceased or living.

“Weegee: Murder Is My Business” is on view through September 2, 2012 at the International Center of Photography. All Weegee photographs used with permission from ICP.

3 responses to “Love in the Time of Weegee

  1. Nice to see the softer side of Weegee.

  2. Weegee captured the dark, under-belly side of New York and the city of his time.

  3. Elaine Braverman

    Weegee’s pics are always fascinating. Nice job, Ally.

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