Photo by Spaulding/McMullan/Sipa Press/Newscom

“Celebrating Bill Cunningham”
Through September 8th, 2018
New-York Historical Society: 170 Central Park West

The New-York Historical Society is paying tribute to Bill Cunningham with an exhibition of the photographer’s personal objects, letters, ephemera and work which opened on June 8th. Curated by Debora Schmidt Bach, “Celebrating Bill Cunningham” showcases a selection from Cunningham’s “Facades,” an eight-year photographic project (previously shown at the Historical Society in 2014) documenting New York City’s architectural and fashion history, Cunningham’s previously unseen scrapbooks and the hats he created during his stint as a milliner. The exhibit also features photographs documenting Cunningham’s friendship with floral designer Toni Cimino, one of his bicycles, his Nikon camera, signature blue jacket and unforgettable William J hats.

Nikon D5200 with 24 mm lens, used by Bill Cunningham

Two years since fashion photographer Bill Cunningham passed, his absence is still felt deeply within the industry. A rare feat, Cunningham and his work were never beholden to to money or fame: his New York Times column, “On The Street,” was a testament to true style rather than celebrity. He was also known for refusing any and all gifts from those he photographed, as well as food and drinks at parties he attended. Despite the relative privacy he maintained with regards to his personal life, the photographer left behind an autobiographical manuscript, titled Fashion Climbing, which his family discovered in his archives after his death. Penguin Press acquired the book, set for release in September 2018.

“Bill Cunningham Photographing Five Models,” ca. 1968−76. Photo by unidentified photographer.

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