The Naked City: Weegee’s NY Noir Nightscape


This weekend’s New York Times New York Explorer feature, Crime Was Weegee’s Oyster, spotlights the life, times, and photography of 30s and 40s freelance crime and street photographer, Arthur Fellig, better known as “Weegee”, and one of the city’s most famous photographers:

Weegee’s peak period… was a whirl of perpetual motion running from the mid-1930s into the postwar years. Ceaselessly prowling the streets during the graveyard shift, he took thousands of photographs that defined Manhattan as a film noir nightscape of hoodlums and gangsters, Bowery bums and slumming swells, tenement dwellers and victims of domestic brawls, fires and car crashes. He gave it its enduring nickname, the Naked City.

The on-line article features a slide-show of Weegee’s photographs and a video exploration of the New York locales where the photos were taken.

Update 20 June 2008: Today the NY Times published a Weegee Primer with a source list books, movies, NY locales, and a link to the INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY‘s Weegee Web site, which features other photos and audio clips.

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