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Photographs by Rudy Burckhardt from the 1930s

Rudy Burckhardt was born in Basel, Switzerland in 1914. While going to medical school in London, he discovered photography. He came to live in New York in 1935. “I really became a New Yorker rather than an American,” he later wrote. “There are so many mixtures of people. There’s no other place like this. Anybody can become a New Yorker, really. But you can’t say the same of Paris or Rome, you never become a Frenchman or an Italian.” Rudy did bring his European sensibilities with him, all of that history up to the present Surrealists, Dadaists and Cubists who’d been churning up the early 20th Century with newer realities. Rudy saw what most folks didn’t see, or took for granted when they looked, the first pop artist who made clear to everyone the beauty of the obvious everyday truth.



Circles, New York, 1934

Circles, New York, 1934


Untitled, New York, 1937

Untitled, New York, 1937


Encroachment, New York, 1938

Encroachment, New York, 1938


An' I've Got a Nickel, 1938

An’ I’ve Got a Nickel, 1938


Willem de Kooning, 22nd Street, New York, 1938

Willem de Kooning, 22nd Street, New York, 1938


34th and Broadway, 1939

34th and Broadway, 1939


Hot Roast Beef Sandwich 25 cents, 1939

Hot Roast Beef Sandwich 25 cents, 1939


Lifebuoy, New York, 1939

Lifebuoy, New York, 1939


Sun, New York, 1939

Sun, New York, 1939


Midtown, New York, 1939

Midtown, New York, 1939


Saks, New York, 1939

Saks, New York, 1939


Untitled, Paris, 1934

Untitled, Paris, 1934



Rudy Burckhardt was published in 2004 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. Philip Lopate and Vincent Katz are the authors. The book includes the photographs of Rudy Burckhardt from the 1930s to the 1990s. The photos above are taken from this book.

One Comment

  1. simone gad
    Posted 5 Feb ’17 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    love his work so much. i knew him in nyc.

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