East 100th Street
A photography exhibition that offers a bold, honest look at life in 1960s Harlem
This exhibition celebrates the MFA’s recent acquisition of the 43 prints by renowned New York photographer Bruce Davidson that were originally showcased in his groundbreaking show, “East 100th Street,” at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970. These powerful images capture the gritty reality of life on the block between First and Second Avenues, which had been described during the 1950s as the most dangerous in the entire city. Davidson began the project in 1967, when this section of East Harlem was slowly improving. Carrying his bulky, large-format camera and tripod, Davidson returned almost daily for nearly two years recording the strength and diversity of the inhabitants of this Harlem neighborhood. Gradually gaining the trust of the residents meant that Davidson was able to make intimate, close-up portraits like this young pair on the street.
Above: Bruce Davidson, Untitled, [Close Up of Boy and Girl with Faces Together], from East 100th Street series, 1967–68, printed 1969. Museum purchase with funds donated by Haluk and Elisa Soykan and the Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund.
Presented with support from the Shelly and Michael Kassen Fund.