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NYPL celebrates William Meyers and his 'Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan' photographs
The show features 86 prints by American photographer William Meyers, who for nearly two decades used his camera to capture underexplored areas of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.


NEW YORK, NY.- The New York Public Library brings the outer boroughs to Manhattan beginning on March 27, with the opening of the new free photography exhibition William Meyers: Outer Boroughs at its landmark 42nd Street library.

The show features 86 prints by American photographer William Meyers, who for nearly two decades used his camera to capture underexplored areas of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.

Beginning in 1990, Meyers traveled from his home in Manhattan to random stops throughout the outer boroughs, letting the unfamiliar streets guide his photography. Traversing neighborhoods such as Astoria, Co-Op City, and Bensonhurst, Meyers photographed the intricacies of daily life as he encountered them, fortuitously filling an important void in the photography of a changing city.

The exhibition is the first time that the complete collection of these photographs— entitled “Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan” and acquired by The New York Public Library in 2008—is being displayed.

The show will run through June 30 in the Stokes and Print Galleries on the third floor of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street.

“I consider myself an art photographer, not a documentarian, so when I was working on the project I had no sense of creating a comprehensive record of anything,” said Meyers. “But when the thousands of pictures I took were edited down, ‘Outer Boroughs’ acquired a documentary aspect. The outer boroughs have changed so dramatically in the last decade that, to a considerable extent, the city I photographed no longer exists. However, the essence of New York has always been reinvention.”

“Extending street photography beyond the landscape of Manhattan, William Meyers surveys the city’s constant evolution through an exploration of the everyday life of overlooked places,” said Stephen Pinson, the Library’s Robert B. Menschel Curator of Photography. “His work skillfully blends documentary with artfulness and exemplifies the collection’s—and the Library’s—mission to be a home for preservation and culture.”

The exhibition coincides with the publication of William Meyers’s new book, Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan, published by Damiani, and the Library’s presentation of Public Eye: 175 Years of Sharing Photography, an exhibition featuring hundreds of images from the Library’s renowned Photography Collection. That free exhibition will be on view through January 3, 2016 in Gottesman Hall of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building.





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