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N. Jay Jaffee Photographs from Public to Personal, 1947-1997

Girl Learning to Skate, 1950
Livonia Avenue, East NY
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print

January 27 – March 23, 2014

Seventy photographs–exquisite expositions of light and shadow, visual textures, and balanced tension–spanning the distinctive career of N. Jay Jaffee (1921-1999) are presented in this exhibition. From capturing the vibrancy of New York City streets to meditating on still landscapes, Jaffee’s photographs are very much a form of self-portrait, a means by which he interpreted both the world and his position in it. These thoughtful and subtly witty photographs are invitations to see, to question, and to engage fully with life.

Bryant Park, 1953
New York City
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print
Looking at Seals, 1971
Aquarium, Coney Island, NY
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print
Anti Vietnam Demo #1, 1974 (Printed 1977)
New York City
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print
Boots, 1950
Queens, NYC
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print
Detail: United Methodist Church, 1994
Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, MD
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print
White Star Lunch, 1995
Fredrick, Maryland
N. Jay Jaffee
Gelatin Silver Print

Public Program

4:00 PM, Thursday

February 27, 2014

Reception to Follow

Christy Ford Chapin, Assistant Professor of History, will shed light on the historical context in which Jaffee was active as a photographer, with emphasis on the Cold War, McCarthyism, and the dramatic changes that occurred from the late 1940s through the 1990s. Tom Beck, Chief Curator of the Albin O. Kuhn Gallery, will discuss the life and work of photographer N. Jay Jaffee including: the influence of the Photo League the only arts group that was included on the United States Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations in 1947; Jaffee’s longtime muse—the streets of New York City; and the increasingly poetic and personal elements that characterize his later work.

This event is free and open to the public.


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