Thursday, January 8, 2009

Richard C. Bray Photographer 1929-1993


Kim and David of Rescripted recently wrote to me and asked if I'd ever heard of  Richard C. Bray.
I never had, so  looked him up on their website, and discovered a most fascinating figure.
Born into wealth, he became a biochemist at Columbia University. 
An obsessive traveller with a 'reclusive disposition'. 
Well worth reading more about him.

Anyway, I was very taken with his photos which reveal a New York not completely dissimilar to the one I haunt. The commuters arriving........
The scruffy lower east side......


The languid cat, of course, reminds me of Morocco.

This last is almost certainly Coney Island.

21 comments:

  1. I like these photos. I've never heard of the photographer before.

    Paz

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  2. P.S. A Fortunate Child looks really good. I can't wait to read it.

    Paz

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  3. thank you. i love having someone hand me a new and interesting photographer!!

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  4. Thanks Elizabeth. I have never heard of him, but went to check his website right now and sounds interesting.
    Oh btw, I was just notified that Lulu just shipped your books...Yeeepppp

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  5. Fine atmosphers of maybe 60's

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  6. Thank you so much, Elizabeth for sharing Richard C. Bray with your friends. The online exhibit is only a tiny example of the thousands of photographs that he took throughout his life. It's a shame that his work was never shown until now. His reclusive nature just would not allow it. His archive is a document of his life. He was obsessive at times - such as his series "No Outlet" over 150 photographs of boarded up windows that took 20 years to complete. The archive included many negatives of which there was not an original photograph. I recently had some of them printed. There is an amazing photograph taken in Central Park. It is a cloud in the form of a witch and the image of the witch is very clear. He called it "Witch Cloud Over Central Park". I'll email it to you. You might like to have it in your files. Again, I am so grateful that you have shown his work today! Kim

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  7. nice - a definite flavor to his work - what a wonderful find!

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  8. These are great photos. I like how they show the city in a past era. He sounds like he was a very interesting person.

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  9. Lovely shots. The cat one is my favourite

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  10. They are great and sooo atmospheric - a great discovery

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  11. What a beautiful set of photographs!
    My favorite's the first, with all the readers on the train. Fantastic eye for detail and the light is out of this world. Thank you for sharing these, Elizabeth!

    Happy New Year and belated happy birthday wishes to you and your husband! I was in over my head with Christmas and visitors, rarely time for the web these past weeks. When my last visitor left on Tuesday, within 24 hours a little bug knocked on my door, er, hit me. At least I get to surf a little, in between being a good girl and rest. ;-)

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  12. As a Brooklyn gal, we will definetely miss Coney Island roller coaster. Thanks for sharing that picture

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  13. I also saw Bray's photo over at Kim and David's. Now I must go google him. I love these you've posted today!

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  14. Wonderfully evocative photos, but I think the one you've chosen as the cover of your book is beautiful too.

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  15. I haven't heard of Bray either. But I think I've seen the Coney Island rollercoaster picture before. It's very familiar.

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  16. Elizabeth, I can see why your eye liked his eye. Wish that the two of your could have met, had a coffee, had a tea, then gone and taken more pictures!

    Your new camera and its closeups are giving your eye even more entryways. Terrific!

    xo

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  17. I just love the Sing Lee Laundry. I've always liked the idea of perhaps having a building like that be my home - just moving right in and leaving the windows exactly the way they are.
    Catherine

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  18. Your photos is nice!
    It is cool!

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  19. I'm glad to be catching up. Thanks for this eye-opener. I'm going to find out more.

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  20. Ah, yes, the last photo is The Cyclone in Brooklyn's Coney Island --not all that far from where I live, so I know it well :-)

    I'll have to learn more about Bray...thanks!

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I look forward to hearing from you!