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First Stanley Kubrick Photographed 1940s New York, Then He Made His Films

It’s not well known that before Stanley Kubrick became the critically acclaimed director of iconic films like Dr. Strangelove and The Shining, he was a photographer for Look magazine. Kubrick, a Bronx native, took the job in 1945 at the age of 17 and remained on staff as a New York City-based photographer until 1950. He left to pursue a career in film.

Today, an exhibition featuring the “humanist slice-of-life” images he made of New Yorkers opens at the Museum of the City of New York. The show, titled, Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, is accompanied by a book of the same name published by Taschen.

The book contains around 300 photographs, many previously unpublished, as well as tear sheets from Look and includes an introduction by photography critic Luc Sante. The exhibition is comprised of more than 120 pictures pulled from the museum’s Look magazine archive, which houses 129 photography assignments and over 12,000 negatives from Kubrick’s five years as a staff photographer for Look.

Through a Different Lens explores a formative phase in Kubrick’s legendary career.

Together, the book and exhibition reveal “the keen and evocative vision of a burgeoning creative genius in a range of feature stories and images,” states the press release. “These still photographs attest to Kubrick’s innate talent for compelling storytelling and serve as a clear indication of how this genius would soon transition to making some of the greatest movies of all time.”

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs
Taschen
Museum of the City of New York

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