Harvey Wang's New York

On view in the Yiddish Book Center’s Brechner Gallery, opening June 16, 2024.

Black and white photo of a tv repairman in his workshop.
Jack Betteil, TV Repairman, Queens, NY-by Harvey Wang

Where else but New York? Where would you still find a 97-year-old scrap-metal collector, a pillow maker, a mannequin maker, or someone who still digs graves with a shovel? But not for long.

Harvey Wang’s beautiful and often poignant portraits show us men and women in vanishing jobs and professions. As machines and electronics take over, as gentrification or changes in customs occur, a way of life disappears. But Harvey Wang was able to document these lives before it was too late. The photographs and descriptions entertain and inform us all.

On view in the Yiddish Book Center’s Brechner Gallery, opening June 16, 2024.

The Center’s museum is open Sunday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Made possible with support from the Brechner Family.

Headshot of Harvey Wang

Harvey Wang studied visual arts and anthropology at Purchase College, State University of New York. He has published six books of photography, including Harvey Wang’s New York (1990) and, with co-author David Isay, Flophouse: Life on the Bowery (2000) and Holding On: Dreamers, Visionaries,  Eccentrics and Other American Heroes (1995). His most recent book is From Darkroom to Daylight (2015). Wang has exhibited widely at museums, including the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the New-York Historical Society, and the Museum of the City of New York. His films have screened at festivals all over the world. His short film about the photographer Milton Rogovin won the prize for Best Documentary Short at the Tribeca Film Festival. He lives and works in New York City.

Black and white photo of typesetter at forward.
Typesetter, The Forward, 1982-by Harvey Wang

There will be a talkback with Harvey Wang on Sunday, June 16 @ 2 p.m. This event will be presented at the Yiddish Book Center and streamed live via Zoom. Space for the in-person event is limited and will be first come, first served; register below for the Zoom live stream.