Coney Island is one of New York City’s most iconic cultural treasures. Making up a peninsula in one of Brooklyn’s southwestern corners, the beaches, burlesque, amusement attractions, and unique cultural offerings make Coney Island one of the most sought-out parts of the city. Even if you haven’t lived in NYC your whole life, you can still witness the evolution of Coney Island through the many artistic manifestations captured by world-renowned artists.
Beginning this month and lasting throughout the summer, photographer Aaron Rose will be exhibiting his vast collection of photographs of the iconic seaside destination. In a World of Their Own: Coney Island Photographs is Aaron Rose’s homage to the culturally rich, colorful, often zany Coney Island. Hosted by the Museum of the City of New York, In a World of Their Own will feature 70 images that “capture a palpable sense of the manners and more of 1960s New Yorkers at their most unguarded,” details NYC-ARTS.
Rose began photographing Coney Island in 1961, documenting a pivotal time in the city’s history. According to the Museum, when Rose began photographing Coney Island in the early sixties, “he bypassed the bluster of theme parks and sideshows for the more intimate interactions of beach dwellers,” favoring instead to document “beachgoers of all ages, ethnicities, and walks of life, each one utterly unselfconscious, absorbed in a world of his or her own.” Rose himself referred to what he was seeing as a “sun-baked melting pot,” and is one of the earliest art photographers to use C-print paper and chromogenic processing, which allowed many of his images to mirror the warm tans and cool whites that he witnessed during summers photographing the visitors and residents of Coney Island.
In a World of Their Own promises to be one of the most intriguing and nostalgia-inducing exhibits of the summer. Learn more by visiting the Museum of the City of New York’s website.
In a World of Their Own: Coney Island Photographs
Museum of the City of New York
May 9 – August 3, 2014