SPECIAL EXHIBITION AT NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY CELEBRATES THE LIFE
OF LEGENDARY PHOTOGRAPHER BILL CUNNINGHAM
On view June 8 – September 9, 2018
Celebrating Bill Cunningham marks the New-York Historical Society’s recent acquisition of objects, personal correspondence, ephemera, and photographs that reflect the life and work of Bill Cunningham. One of the late 20th century’s most influential trend-spotters and style authorities, the legendary New York Times journalist and photographer was frequently spied on the city’s streets, at fashion shows, and at elegant soirées capturing images of New York’s fashion innovators and cultural glitterati.
Among the highlights of Celebrating Bill Cunningham are a bicycle that he rode around the city; his first camera, an Olympus Pen-D, 35mm; signature blue jacket; personal photographs of Cunningham at home and with friends; correspondence, including a few of the hand-made Valentines he frequently sent to friends; and a New York City street sign, “Bill Cunningham Corner,” that was temporarily installed at 5th Avenue and 57th Street in his honor, following his death. Soon after he arrived in New York, Cunningham worked as a milliner, and items on view from his millinery line, William J., include an innovative beach hat, along with other hats and fascinators; and a press release written for the William J. spring 1960 millinery show. Also on display are selections from Cunningham’s Facades, his eight-year photographic project documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, which was shown at the Museum in 2014.
The New-York Historical Society would like to extend sincere appreciation to John Kurdewan, who has provided invaluable assistance for our effort to collect items that document and commemorate Bill Cunningham's life. Celebrating Bill Cunningham would not be possible without his insight and support.
170 Central Park West (at 77th Street)
Debra Schmidt Bach, curator of decorative arts, New-York Historical Society is available for interviews
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s preeminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research and presenting history and art exhibitions and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City and State and the country, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.
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IMAGE CAPTION: Unknown artist. Bill Cunningham Photographing Three Models at New York County Court House, ca. 1968-76. Gelatin silver photograph. New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bill Cunningham