For eight years beginning in 1968, New York’s most tireless fashion photographer Bill Cunningham embarked on his “Façades” project, which sought to document the history of architecture and fashion in the city by juxtaposing models in period costumes and vintage outfits with famous or historic buildings and locales. Upon completion of the series, in 1976, Cunningham donated 88 of those photographs to the New York Historical Society, and now the institution is putting them all on view.
The exhibition “Bill Cunningham: Façades” will run March 14 to June 15, 2014, highlighting not only how the original series matched a glamorous past vision of New York City with the troubled and unstable city of the 1960s and ’70s, but also how that period contrasts with our own, and the many ways in which the city has changed over the last 35+ years. Many of the images, like those at the top and bottom of this post, feature Cunningham’s longtime friend, muse, and fellow photographer Editta Sherman.
— Benjamin Sutton (@bhsutton)
(Top image: Bill Cunningham, “Central Park bridge, New York City,” circa 1968-76. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bill Cunningham. Bottom image: Bill Cunningham, “Grand Central Terminal, New York City,” circa 1968-76. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bill Cunningham.)