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N. Jay Jaffee (American, 1921-1999)
Bryant Park, 1950; printed 1981
Photograph, silver gelatin print, 9-1/2 x 11-9/16 in.
Signed in ink at lower right margin: N Jay Jaffee. Inscribed in pencil, verso: 5/20 Bryant Park, 1953 NYC / N Jay Jaffee / PTND 1981.
Gift of Ms. Cyrisse Jaffee.  2001.22.2




About This Work

The work of N. Jay Jaffee is rooted in social consciousness. Having taken up photography as a hobby upon returning from service in World War II, Jaffee documented 1950s life in Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, often highlighting the individual's loneliness and isolation within society. In 1950, Edward Steichen, then director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art, purchased three of Jaffee's photographs for the museum's collection and he included Jaffee in the exhibition 51 American Photographers, which focused on new talent. In 1985 Jaffee left New York City, moving to Lloyd Harbor on Long Island, and his later work focused on nature, a subject he had briefly explored in the late 1940s in rural Brooklyn.


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