During his influential career as a photographer, filmmaker, and teacher, Liebling has produced pristinely formal and socially conscious images that speak directly and forcefully about change and continuity in America during the late twentieth century. Following his discharge from the army in 1946, Liebling studied design at Brooklyn College. His early love of still photography developed under the tutelage of Walter Rosenblum, former president of the famed New York social-documentary group the Photo League. His eye for composition was influenced by the Bauhaus-inspired faculty of Brooklyn College’s design department.
Many of Liebling’s photographs are fluid series, which are assembled over a long period of time with a changing roster of images. Despite their arresting formal and technical qualities, individual photographs are the vehicle and not the message, which seems to ask viewers to be keenly aware of the physical world. Liebling’s photographic heroes include Paul Strand and Helen Leavitt, who also created indelible images of their time and place that convey enduring notions of what it is to be human and alive. Woman and Peaches is from an extended series of images taken in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Purchased with the Dorothy C. Miller, class of 1925, Fund
ID Number: SC 2008:2-1