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Coney Island

Stephen Salmieri


In the postwar period Coney Island remained an almost obligatory subject for most photographers visiting or living in New York. New and more affordable lightweight cameras allowed photographers to be freer in the exploration of their topic. Brooklyn-born Stephen Salmieri had just graduated from School of Visual Arts in New York when he started his Coney Island series in 1966. Working in the tradition of many mid-twentieth-century independent photographers (such as Robert Frank and Lisette Model) who found Coney Island an inspiring subject, Salmieri spent the following six years documenting a decaying area, still full of life. Last summer there was still a limited stretch of concession stands on the Bowery, not much different from the ones in Salmieri’s suite of images. Even though some barkers are now relying on electronic amplification to lure passersby to their games, the original intention remains the same.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1969
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 11 x 14 in. (27.9 x 35.6 cm) Image: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)
SIGNATURE Signed in graphite verso "Salmieri"
INSCRIPTIONS Titled in graphite verso "1969 Coney Island"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edward Klein
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