Eye on the Street: Trends in 1960s and 1970s Photography

July 12–October 6, 2013










The 1960s and 1970s were times of great social, political, and artistic change in the United States. In these decades, photographers Garry Winogrand, Joel Meyerowitz, and Danny Lyon each turned their camera lenses on New York City’s ever-changing architectural and social landscape in order to capture and illuminate some elements of truth about modern urban society. All the while, each revolutionized the development of twentieth-century street photography.

Eye on the Street: Trends in 1960s and 1970s Photography features work by these three ground-breaking photographers. While the city streets inspired Winogrand, Meyerowitz, and Lyon, their individual aesthetic sensibilities and interests led each to develop a completely unique vision and style. Winogrand, creator of the “snapshot aesthetic,” captured strikingly candid images of anonymous women in his aptly-titled portfolio series Women are Beautiful. A pioneer of color photography, Meyerowitz produced images of alarmingly quiet city streets marked by beautiful subtleties of natural light. Known for completely immersing himself among his documented subjects, Lyon’s haunting photographs document the 1967 demolition of nineteenth-century Lower Manhattan neighborhoods which would make way for the soaring skyscrapers of the Financial District.

Watch an interview with Julie Warchol, curator of Eye on the Street

Image credit: Garry Winogrand. American, 1928–1984. Woman in a headscarf carrying a paisley suitcasefrom Women are Beautiful,ca. 1972; print 1981. Gelatin silver print. Gift of Ralph and Nancy Segall. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2006:31-22.