Stalking the streets of New York City at night alongside police detectives and barflies, the tough-talking, fedora-wearing, cigar-smoking photographer who called himself "Weegee" was ready at a moment's notice with his Speed Graphic to respond to the police radio. From the mid-1930s to 1950s, he captured hundreds of pictures of accidents, murders, arrests, fires, and natural disasters, producing works that are both empathetic and sensational. This volume presents approximately fifty of the ninety-five Weegee prints in the Getty Museum's collection, surveying the photographer's probing vision of life in New York from Harlem to Times Square, Greenwich Village, and the Bowery. Each of the photographs is accompanied by an introduction, a chronology, and commentary.
The book also includes an edited transcript of a colloquium on Weegee's life and work that incorporates the author's comments along with those of seven other participants: David Featherstone, Michael Hargraves, Weston Naef, Miles Orvell, Ira Richer, Colin Westerbeck, and Cynthia Young.
In Focus: Weegee was published to coincide with an exhibition of the photographer's work at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles that was on view from September 20, 2005, through January 22, 2006.
Judith Keller is curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.