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On View: Synergy of Fashion and Architecture from Legendary Photographer Bill Cunningham at the New-York Historical Society

When New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham carefully staged his fashion models around and within historic New York City sites, he sparked a creative synergy rarely seen before or since.  From 1968 to 1976, he expertly fused fashion with architecture in a masterwork titled  Facades. Today you can enjoy 80 original and enlarged images from the series in Bill Cunningham: Facades at the New-York Historical Society.

General Motors Building by Bill Cunningham, 1968-1976.  (Photo: © New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bill Cunningham)

‘General Motors Building’ by Bill Cunningham, 1968-1976. (Photo: © New-York Historical Society, Gift of Bill Cunningham)

Bill Cunningham rode the city streets on his bicycle looking for shooting locations while searching auction houses, street fairs and thrift shops for clothing for his models.  The result is a signature look at New York when it was struggling to retain its status as a world-class city as well as a time capsule of social and political change.

The special exhibition features prints donated to the Society by Bill Cunningham in 1976. “His vivid sense of New York’s Illustrious past and unfettered optimism about its future make the photographs among the most dramatic and important documentation of the city’s social history,” said Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society.

Bill Cunningham: Facades is on view at the New York Historical Society through June 15, 2014. On April 16 the museum is hosting a viewing of the documentary Bill Cunningham New York from 7-9pm.

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