Street Scenes | Hunter Museum of American Art 7.0.33-0+deb9u12
Frank Paulin (1926-2016), Flower Messenger, Times Square, New York City, 1956, gelatin silver print, printed later, Collection of Hunter Museum of American Art, Gift of Bruce and Silke Silverstein, 2015.13
A Black man in street fashion holds a bouquet of flowers wrapped in plastic.

Street Scenes

The Photography Of Frank Paulin


On View December 7, 2016 - March 12, 2017

In the 1950s, Frank Paulin participated in the formation of a new type of photography known as street photography. This practice combined photo-journalism, social documentary photography, and modernism to explore life on the streets. As the inner city declined with the rise of the suburbs, middle class Americans perceived the city street wit apprehension as a space where races, classes and vice mixed. Consequently, it became a masculine arena deemed unsafe for unaccompanied middle class white women.

Paulin reveled in this space, using such experimental techniques as erratic framing, high contrast, blurring, unexpected depth of field, and reflective surfaces to capture what he called the surreal in the everyday. He combined the camera’s capacity to render reflections, blurs, and patterns as concrete elements within the image with the subject matter of the street. This modernist technique created often humorous, yet powerful, statements about American society in the 1950s.


close slider

The Hunter is your community art museum. We strive to be accessible to as many people as possible. Your unrestricted, 100% tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund supports our commitment to giving free admission to:

- All children age 17 and under
- Active military and their families
- Families who attend our “Family Fun Days” offered three times a year
- All visitors on the first Thursday evening of each month


WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux