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Harvey Wang’s New York

Opening June 16, 2024, at the Yiddish Book Center

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.

Harvey Wang’s New York opens at the Yiddish Book Center on Sunday, June 16 at 10:00 a.m. At 2:00 p.m., there will be a talkback with Wang, presented live at the Yiddish Book Center. 

Black and white photo of employees inside menswear storeroom.
© Harvey Wang. Chock & Company, Orchard St. 1993.

About the Artist

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.

The Yiddish Book Center’s museum is open Sunday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Plan your visit to the Center here.