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New York in the 1930s - 50s

The work of Walfred Moisio was quite simply lost to the world for a number of decades and has luckily only recently re-surfaced to be rediscovered.

Gallery Vassie is proud to present the first ever European exhibition of the work of Walfred Moisio (1910 – 2002). For nearly three decades, Moisio dedicated his life to observing the ever-changing streets of New York, candidly capturing the emotions of its people and time.

Born in 1910, Moisio grew up on a Massachusetts apple farm and in 1928 he put himself through Columbia University and in 1933, as a self-taught photographer he moved to New York to join the Emergency Relief Bureau and working for the likes of The New Yorker, Esquire, Time, Look, Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, and the New York Times.

Capturing a time of elegantly turned-out Wall Street businessmen and a magnificent burgeoning stone and steel skyline, contrasted by the impact of the great depression.

While contemporaries such as Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston influenced his work, what makes Moisio stand apart is both the quality of his observations and the fact that his work has never been seen, until now.

Moisio’s street photography artfully captures many of the cultural and historical events of the 1930s and 40s, while presenting us with a wholly original point of view of New York.

Moisio’s ability to depict the essence of time and place within his honest and documentary style of photography is captivating. In this way he explored the social issues of the time. However, whilst you see casual traces of racial integration, sexuality and economic status, you do not feel he is politicising his photographs.

What you feel in looking at his New York is an optimism of spirit and gesture that feels both timelessly enduring and long ago lost in the City we experience today.

For nearly a half-century, the photographs of Moisio had been in storage in the basement of his home in Massachusetts. The public has never before seen these images that focus on scenes of a long ago forgotten New York and the culture of that time. Which ultimately makes this exhibition, at Gallery Vassie an important and very exciting event.

All work is available for purchase.

Earlier Event: 5 August
Later Event: 11 November
detox 2003-06