Summer, Lower East Side, New York City (detail), 1937, Weegee (Arthur Fellig). Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum. © International Center of Photography

In Focus: Play


West Pavilion, Lower Level

The introduction of photography in 1839 coincided with major social and economic changes spurred by the Industrial Revolution and a burgeoning culture of leisure. In addition to documenting historic events, this new medium was used to record the everyday, including the many ways people spent their free time. With the advent of faster film and handheld cameras, dancing and carousing were captured with the same enthusiasm as moments of respite and quiet contemplation. This exhibition traces the development of play as a photographic subject through the works of artists such as Eugène Atget, Roger Fenton, Lauren Greenfield, Bill Owens, and Larry Sultan among others.

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