Girls In The Windows
In 1960, while a construction crew dismantled a row of brownstones right
across from my own brownstone studio on East 58th Street, I was inspired
to, somehow immortalize those buildings. I had the vision of 43 women
in formal dress adorning the windows of the skeletal facade.
We had to work quickly to secure City permissions, arrange for models which
included celebrities, the demolition supervisior's wife (third floor, third from
left), my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to
be parked on the sidewalk. Careful planning was a necessity as the photography
had to be accomplished during the workers' lunch time!
The day before the buildings were razed, the 43 women appeared in
their finest attire, went into the buildings, climbed the old stairs, and took their
places in the windows. I was set up on my fire escape across the
streeet, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand. Of course I was
concerned for the Models' safety, as some were daring enough to
pose out on the crumbling sills.
The photography came off as planned. What had seemed to some as too
dangerous or difficult to accomplish, became my fantasy fulfilled, and my
most memorable self - assigned photograph. It has been an international
award winner ever since.
Most professional photographers dream of having one signature picture
they are known for. "GIRLS IN THE WINDOWS " is mine.