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Guide to the Ruth Orkin Photograph Collection
ca. 1950-1981
 PR 190

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jennifer Lewis

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 13, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Ruth Orkin Photograph Collection spans the period from ca. 1950 to 1981 and contains photographs of New York City, primarily Central Park and the surrounding areas.

Photographs in this collection are part of a series taken from the window of Orkin's fifteenth floor apartment at 65 Central Park West, between 66th and 67th Streets in Manhattan; most were published at her books "A World through my Window," and "More Pictures from my Window." They take as their focus Central Park, particularly the Sheep Meadow, and the bordering skylines of Central Park South and Fifth Avenue. The color photographs show the park and its surroundings in various dramatic light, weather, and seasonal conditions, from the Tavern on the Green decorated with Christmas lights in a night view, to a distant shot of sunbathers and roller skaters gathered in the meadow in the heat of a summer day.

Most of the photographs in this collection were included in the exhibit "Manhattan Observed: Fourteen Photographers look at New York, 1972-1981," at the New-York Historical Society, from July 1981 through April 1982. The photographs, which were printed by G.W. Color Lab, New York, are signed, captioned, and in most cases dated by Orkin on both the front and the verso.