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Coney Island, Depression Girl with Safety Pin
The Depression years in the 1930s were difficult everywhere, and Coney Island suffered as a reduced disposable income made people less prone to spend money on entertainment. Enjoying the free beach and boardwalk promenades, the crowds still arrived in great numbers, but income from amusement concessions plunged even though many barkers and operators cut prices in half. Luna Park went into bankruptcy in 1933, and when it reopened after a brief closing, the park could only afford to light a fraction of its many bulbs. Many people, even families, used the space beneath the boardwalk as temporary shelter. In an effort to use the camera as a tool to reflect a difficult social climate, Sidney Kerner, a Brooklyn-born photographer, had joined Paul Strand’s and Berenice Abbott’s newly established Photo League in 1937, a year before he took this picture.
- Artist: Sidney Kerner, American, 1920-2013
- Medium: Gelatin silver photograph
- Dates: 1938
- Dimensions: sheet/image: 8 x 6 1/4 in. sheet/image: 20.4 x 15.8 cm (show scale)
- Signature: Signed "Sidney Kerner" in graphite verso
- Inscriptions: Inscribed "Coney Island 1938" in graphite verso
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 1995.128.6
- Credit Line: Gift of the artist
- Rights Statement: © artist or artist's estate
- Caption: Sidney Kerner (American, 1920-2013). Coney Island, Depression Girl with Safety Pin, 1938. Gelatin silver photograph, sheet/image: 8 x 6 1/4 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the artist, 1995.128.6. © artist or artist's estate
- Record Completeness: Best (84%)