New York City's Waterfront in Photographs on View at Museum of the City of New York

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The dramatic transformation of the New York City waterfront from a hub of industry and commerce to a vestigial space reclaimed for recreation and public use will be documented in historic photographs by Berenice Abbott, Andreas Feininger, and David Robbins, and contemporary photographs by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel, in an exhibition on view September 5 through November 29, 2009, at the Museum of the City of New York. The Edge of New York: Waterfront Photographs will spotlight, through 42 photographs on view, the revolution that took place on the waterfront in the 20th century. The historic photographs feature piers and shipping facilities during the 1930s and 1940s when New York City operated the world’s busiest port. In contrast, recent photographs by Diane Cook and Len Jenshel portray the remnants of this once-thriving industrial port—warehouses, train tracks, and gantries—and the current renewal of the city’s shoreline.

The Edge of New York: Waterfront Photographs is organized in recognition of the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson's 1609 voyage, and complements exhibitions at the Museum of the City of New York that helped to launch this city-wide celebration. These include: Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The Worlds of Henry Hudson, investigating the explorer’s epic journey and the trans-Atlantic links it set into motion, on view through September 27, 2009; Mannahatta/Manhattan: A Natural History of New York City, which re-imagines, through digital and other cutting-edge media, the quiet, wooded island that Hudson encountered in 1609, on view through October 12, 2009; and Dutch Seen: New York Rediscovered, photographs by 13 Dutch artists inspired by Hudson’s voyage and the early Dutch presence in lower Manhattan, on view through September 13, 2009.

The historic photographs on view are a fascinating reminder of the port at its peak, thriving as a center of manufacturing and commercial activity during the 1930s and 1940s, just twenty years before its near-demise...

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