Italian Brooklyn: Photographs by Martha Cooper

In this collection of images, photojournalist Martha Cooper, well-known for her work on graffiti and the early days of hip-hop, documents Italian American vernacular expressive culture in 1980s Brooklyn. These thirty-nine photographs were made as part of various documentation projects undertaken by folklorists some three decades ago. Cooper’s photographs of everyday scenes and interactions, many of them involving public Catholic practices in Italian Brooklyn, shine a light on often overlooked details of the urban landscape. Digitized from their original slide formats and newly printed, the photographs depict, among other things, Williamsburg’s annual giglio feast, the Manteo Sicilian marionette theater, yard shrines and sidewalk altars, as well as portraits of community members both noted and lesser-known. This is the first exhibit of Cooper’s extensive earlier Italian American oeuvre.

This exhibition is in collaboration with City Lore, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to New York City’s vibrant folk arts. City Lore is the repository of Cooper’s extensive slide collection.

On view April 19–August 31, 2018
Exhibition Opening: Wednesday, April 18, 20