Compelling Snapshots of New York City Life During the 1950s

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New York City street photographer Frank Oscar Larson documented daily life in the bustling metropolis during the ’50s. The Queens Museum of Art will be exhibiting Larson’s compelling black and white snapshots, which the former banker took primarily in his spare time on the weekends. Larson’s photos of Times Square show a more innocent side of the Midtown junction, and his candid portraits of everyday life are quietly intimate. Many of the images were entered into photography competitions, but largely remained undiscovered. His grandson recently uncovered over 100 envelopes of medium format negatives dating back to the 1920s — images Larson used to develop in his basement darkroom in Flushing. The artist’s work will be honored at the museum from February 5 to May 20. For more information on Frank Oscar Larson: 1950s New York Street Stories , visit the museum’s website. Check out our preview of the exhibition in the gallery past the break.

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Photo Booth, Times Square, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1954

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Ticket Booth in Times Square, archival digital prints from original negatives, ca 1954

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

School Girls, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1953

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Johnny Guitar I, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1954

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

AP Window, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1955

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Kids Playing, Williamsburg, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1959

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Times Square with Pigeons, archival digital prints from original negatives, 1954

Image credit: Frank Oscar Larson / Courtesy of Queens Museum of Art

Posing for the Camera, archival digital prints from original negatives, ca 1954