"Photographs by Larry Silver, 1949–1955." In a great shot from 1951, Silver captures two kids playing around in a pile of rubble, the new United Nations building towering in the background — an image that epitomizes both the sense of optimism and the messy cleanup that ensue in the wake of battle. Other black-and-white images of youngsters — one peering wide-eyed right at Silver's lens, another biting into something outside a deli while standing next to a box of eggs — are equally attentive to New York City architecture, lingering on landmarks and buildings, some of them still standing, some long gone. "Photographs by Larry Silver" collects 45 of Silver's works, each one a relic of this city's daily comings and goings (laundry, subways, sidewalks) following a time of extended international hardship.
Photo: Larry Silver, Boy on Rooftop (detail), 1951. Gift of William and Jeryl Silverstein. Collection of the New-York Historical Society.
Born in the Bronx in 1934, Larry Silver began taking photographs of New York when he was just a teenager, which perhaps accounts for the prevalence of children in the new post–World War II city survey