Gorgeous Night Photography of the ’20s and ’30s

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Early night photos of Hungary, dark Parisian streets of ’20s, queer night clubs and Moulin Rouge in the ’30s and a few very late evening encounters in the early ’50s — the technical innovations that allowed nighttime photography exposed these worlds and the “shifting social and artistic conventions” that play out after sunset. New York’s Bruce Silverstein Gallery has assembled a captivating set of nightlife photography’s early pioneers Brassaï, Ilse Bing, Robert Doisneau and André Kertész for their Night exhibit. Visit sexy-sans-soft-box-flash mystery gals and stroll down moonlight cobblestone with our (mostly safe for work!) picks from the show.

“Night only suggests things, it doesn’t fully reveal them. Night unnerves us and surprises us with its strangeness; it frees powers within us which were controlled by reason during the day…” -Brassaï

Eiffel Tower (Summer Storm), 1927, Andre Kertesz. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Untitled, 1952, Robert Doisneau. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Untitled, Robert Doisneau. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Fille des Halle, Pres de Sebastopol, 1932, Brassaï. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

La Bal des Inverts, au Magic City, Rue Cognac, Jay, 1932, Brassaï. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Paris Night Square (Square Jolivet), Paris, 1927, Andre Kertesz. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Mademoiselle Anita, 1951, Robert Doisneau. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Pigalle at Night (Bal-Moulin Rouge), 1929, Andre Kertesz. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Can Can Dancer, Moulin Rouge, Paris, 1933, Ilse Bing. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Des Belles Japonaises, Eight Studies – Paris by Night, 1930, Brassaï. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Paris Street Fair, 1933, Ilse Bing. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

La Casque de Cuir, 1932, Brassaï. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Orchestra Pit, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris, 1933, Isle Bing. Courtesy Bruce Silverstein Gallery