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New York City. Manhattan. Lexington Avenue. Underground. 1959.

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    New York (made)

  • Date:

    1959 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cartier-Bresson, Henri, born 1908 - died 2004 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Gelatin silver print

  • Museum number:

    PH.691-1978

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 918, box L

The Victoria and Albert Museum has over 440 photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), a French photographer who is considered to be one of the fathers of photojournalism and masters of candid photography. He sought to capture the 'everyday' in his photographs and took great interest in recording human activity. He wrote, "For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to 'give a meaning' to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression."

As a reporter and co-founder of the Magnum photography agency, Cartier-Bresson accepted his responsibility to supply information to a world in a hurry. He documented the liberation of Paris, the collapse of the Nationalist regime in China, Gandhi's funeral and the partitioning of Berlin. Cartier-Bresson helped develop the street photography style that has influenced generations of photographers that followed.

Physical description

Black and white photograph of a crowd of people on a busy subway train by Lexington Avenue in New York. There is a seated lady reading a book, and the eye of one stony-faced man in the middle of the train is visible, looking straight at the camera.

Place of Origin

New York (made)

Date

1959 (made)

Artist/maker

Cartier-Bresson, Henri, born 1908 - died 2004 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Length: 29.5 cm, Height: 39.5 cm

Descriptive line

Black and white photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson depicting a crowd of people on the subway in New York. USA, 1959.

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Silver; Photography

Subjects depicted

Transport; Reading; Carriage; Crowd scenes; Underground; Bus; Man

Categories

Photographs; Transport

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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