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Bruce Silverstein Gallery : Frank Paulin : Fashion, Culture and the Golden Age


Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York City presents an online exhibition featuring a retrospective of photographer Frank Paulin’s work through their viewing room through the end of January. Entitled Frank Paulin: Fashion, Culture and The Golden Age, the exhibition includes a collection of images that were mainly shot on the streets of New York City during the 1950s. All of the images are in the classic documentary style he first learned while serving in the military during World War II.

Paulin studied at the Institute of Design in Chicago after being discharged from military service in 1946. During this time he studied under renowned photographers to perfect the skills he’d used documenting his time serving during World War II. He then went on to work for department stores and also as a fashion illustrator at an art studio. Having been raised in both New York City and Chicago, in 1953 he returned to New York City to continue studying at the New School under Richard Avedon and Irving Penn’s acclaimed art director Alexey Brodovitch. It was during this time that Paulin captured most of the images in the exhibition, photos that capture his time discovering the streets and scenes of New York City, mostly in Times Square, Fifth Avenue and Central Park.

The photos in the show truly capture New York City in a certain era. Street Scenes, many capturing signs and candid images of people, both natural and fashionable are the crux of the collection. The beauty of the work is the juxtaposition between everyday life in the hustle and bustle of the city and then the glamorous side he saw at night as he took a rare glimpse into a golden age that his camera and eye were able to capture. Sailors standing together in Times Square, window dressers at Lord & Taylor, two people in a rowboat in Central Park; all were scenes captured beautifully through Paulin’s lens. There are other images featuring scenes in Chicago, New Orleans, Belmont Park Racetrack and Atlantic City. A couple in Chicago on Easter Sunday in Chicago, a little girl on a carousel in New Orleans, a waitress at a lunch counter in Chicago; again all captured in Paulin’s candid, documentary style.

Paulin was well received for his ability to capture elegance, style and culture, yet also present a snapshot of everyday life. His works were layered and complex. In 1957, he became the first artist to hold a solo exhibit at Limelight Gallery, the only gallery for art photography in New York City at the time. Paulin’s work has been exhibited at numerous institutions including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven.

Bruce Silverstein Gallery represents an eclectic roster of contemporary artists with a concentration in modern and contemporary photography. Established in 2001, the Gallery is located in the Chelsea area of New York City. The exhibition will be available to view in it’s online viewing room until January 31, 2024.

Elizabeth Hazard


Bruce Silverstein Gallery
529 W 20th St.
New York, NY 10011

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