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Guide to the James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs 2009.004

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Tess Colwell

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on June 23, 2016
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator - Photographer: Murray, James T.
Creator - Photographer: Murray, Karla L.
Title: James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs
Dates [inclusive]: 1990-2008
Abstract: The collection comprises 41 color photographic prints, taken between the late 1990s and 2008. There are 25 11” x 14” prints and 16 panoramic photographs of various sizes. The photographs depict storefronts in Brooklyn. The photographs were part of an exhibition at Brooklyn Historical Society in 2008 titled Counter Culture: The Disappearing Face of Brooklyn’s Storefronts.
Quantity: 1.87 linear feet in one folder and one box.
Graphic materials [Box]: 104
Call Phrase: 2009.004

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Biographical/Historical note

Counter Culture: The Disappearing Face of Brooklyn’s Storefronts was a 2009 exhibition that was part of the Public Perspectives Exhibition Series at Brooklyn Historical Society. The exhibition featured photographs of Brooklyn storefronts by James and Karla Murray, taken between the late 1990s through 2008. This exhibition was funded in part by the Lily Auchincloss Foundation and the Independence Community Foundation.

James and Karla Murray are husband-and-wife New York-based professional photographers. In the late 1990s, they began photographing storefronts in nearly every neighborhood of Brooklyn. About this project, they have said, “we sought to uncover and document many original Brooklyn storefronts that have helped set the pulse, life, and texture of its many different neighborhoods. In many areas of Brooklyn, strict zoning ensures that storefront signage and awnings remain discreet and not hang over 18 inches from the sidewalk. Older stores are often forced to comply with these newer regulations and now appear modernized and have lost their character and unique appearance. It is our hope that the photographs and stores found in this exhibition will help preserve an important part of Brooklyn and bring awareness to the importance of maintaining the character and community of neighborhoods in the face of development.”

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Scope and Contents note

James and Karla Murray Counter Culture exhibition photographs comprises 38 color photographic prints from the 2009 exhibition Counter Culture: The disappearing Face of Brooklyn’s Storefronts at Brooklyn Historical Society. There are 25 11” x 14” prints and 16 panoramic photographs of various sizes. The photographs depict Brooklyn storefronts, taken between the late 1990s through 2008. The photographs are primarily documentary in nature, but some photographs include the storeowner or employees posing in front of the building. The panoramic photographs depict entire city blocks in Brooklyn neighborhoods. Highlights include Astroland Park in Coney Island, Circo’s Pastry Shop in Bushwick, Manhattan Furrier in Greenpoint, and Neptune Liquors in Crown Heights.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Digital Photographs
  • Panoramas
  • Photographic prints

Subject Topics

  • Antiques -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Bakeries -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Barbershops -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Bars (Drinking establishments)-- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Community development, Urban -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Ethnic neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Family-owned business enterprises -- Chinese Americans
  • Fur garments -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Furniture industry and trade -- Louisiana -- New Orleans
  • General stores -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Gentrification
  • Italian Americans -- Social life and customs
  • Pharmacy -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Restaurants -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Storefronts -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bensonhurst (New York, N.Y.)
  • Borough Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bushwick (New York, N.Y.)
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Ditmas Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • Gowanus (New York, N.Y.)
  • Greenpoint (New York, N.Y.)
  • Park Slope (New York, N.Y.)
  • Sheepshead Bay (New York, N.Y.)
  • Sunset Park (New York, N.Y.)
  • Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access note

Open to users without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright held by James and Karla Murray. Permission to publish or reproduce must be secured from the photographers.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); James and Karla Murray Counter Culture collection, 2009.004, Box number, Object ID number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Other Finding Aids note

Item–level description of the 11 x 14” photographic prints are available for searching via the image database in the library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Purchased from James and Karla Murray in 2010 with funding from the Independence Community Foundation, now the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

Processing Information note

Item-level records for the collection are available for searching via the Image Database in the library and the online image database.

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