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August 21, 2022

Life in New York Photographed by Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt (1898–1995), the man behind some of the most memorable pictures of the 20th century, was a professional photographer for almost 70 years. He started working in photography in Weimar Germany in the 1920s. Having fled Nazi Germany in the mid-’30s, he shot for LIFE magazine from its debut in 1936 until it ceased publishing as a weekly in 1972. After LIFE was shuttered, Eisenstaedt kept photographing until the mid-1990s.

Ballerinas in a rehearsal room at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet, 1936.

For Eisenstaedt, the thing that was always there, within him, prompting and pointing the way, was his undying curiosity, which was tethered to his photographer’s eye: “I see pictures all the time. I could stay for hours and watch a raindrop.”

V-J Day, Times Square, New York City, 1945.

“Eisenstaedt never lost his childlike interest in things and people, in what made them what they were,” Robert Andreas wrote in the 2004 book, The Great LIFE Photographers. “He would put his subjects at ease, then get up close and take a few pictures—he didn’t need roll after roll—then it was on to the next person, the next happening, tirelessly pursuing the heart of the matter that he saw so easily and wanted very much for us to see too.”

American School of Ballet, New York, 1936.

Ballerinas at George Balanchine’s American School of Ballet gathered around accompanist during rehearsal, 1936.

Pilgrim State Hospital, Long Island, New York, 1936.

Soap Box Orator, New York, 1937.

Student nurses at Roosevelt Hospital, NYC, 1938.

GE Turbine Plant, Schenectady, New York, 1940.

Two women talking on the sidewalk of Fifth Avenue in midtown, New York, 1942.

Window shopping outside of Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue, New York City, 1942.

In front of the window display at Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue, New York City, 1942.

Chic woman walking her poodles along sidewalk on Fifth Avenue, 1942.

Pennsylvania Station, New York, 1943.

Couple in Penn Station saying goodbye before he ships off to war during WWII, New York, 1943.

Soldier consoling his weeping girlfriend while saying goodbye in Pennsylvania Station before returning to duty after a brief furlough, New York, 1943.

Fashion show in Jade Room of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, New York, 1944.

V-J Day Parade, 1945.

Elevated view of a trio of men in suits and straw boaters as they talk on a sidewalk, New York, 1958.

Central Park after snow storm, 1959.

Shoppers in the women's coat dept. of Saks Fifth Ave. department store, 1960.

Commuters at Grand Central Terminal, New York, 1961.

Santa Claus School, Albion, New York, 1961.

Dog walking in Central Park, NYC, 1964.

Dog walker, New York, 1967.

TWA Terminal, Kennedy Airport, New York City, 1975.

Brooklyn Bridge, 1983.

(via LIFE)


  1. Holy crap, actual art! I can not remember the last time this site actually posted anything worth looking at. The blind squirrel finally found a nut, apparently.

  2. Yet you come here everyday with your negativity. Maybe try curating a website yourself so you can have the perfect experience every time.

  3. Dittos for A-2. If you want to snark, go somewhere else.




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