Monday, February 4, 2008

An afternoon in Astoria (1940)

I was wondering if any of you long time residents of Astoria are familiar with this neighborhood, better, with the photos below. For more information and pictures click here.

Rudolph (Rudy) Burckhardt (1914-1999) arrived in New York from his native Switzerland in 1935. Although he settled in Manhattan – the perfect place in witch to escape the rigid propriety of his European upbringing – his affection for unconventional standards of charm often drew him to Queens. Through Burckhardt’s camera, Queens in the early 1940s was a place of unaffected beauty. He delighted in its empty gas stations and the chaos of its abandoned lots, and in its overgrown sidewalks and its stark industrial facades he found an uncelebrated grace that his own quiet temperament was particularly suited to recognize.
Burckhardt gathered the best of his photographs made in Queens and carefully sequenced them in an album he titled An afternoon in Astoria.