U.S. Hotel at 263 Bowery

Object Details

Title:

U.S. Hotel at 263 Bowery

Artist/Maker(s):

Weegee (Arthur Fellig) (American, born Austria, 1899 - 1968)

Culture:

American

Date:

negative about 1944; print about 1950

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

33.3 x 27.3 cm (13 1/8 x 10 3/4 in.)

Copyright:

© International Center of Photography

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Weegee made this photograph at a cheap hotel, otherwise known as a flophouse, along the Bowery, New York's notorious skid row. In the first half of the 1900s, the Bowery's mile-long stretch of bars, missions, and hotels was home to an estimated 25,000 men. Weegee often photographed these down-and-out characters, and was probably doing so on the evening that he made this photograph.

As the stairs recede toward the top of the image, each step appears narrower then the one below it--lending the words "U.S. Hotel" a powerful perspectival effect. The bold repetition of the hotel's name reveals Weegee's fascination with photography's graphic potential.

Exhibitions
Neither Speech nor Language: Photography and the Written Word (February 28 to May 12, 1991)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), February 28 to May 12, 1991
The American Tradition and Walker Evans (July 10 to October 28, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 10 to October 28, 2001
Scene of the Crime: Photo by Weegee (September 20, 2005 to January 22, 2006) (18)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 20, 2005 to January 22, 2006