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.
Weegee also captured police officers aiding an inebriated man.
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.
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.