Todd Webb (1905-200) was discharged from the US Navy in 1945. Before fighting in the war, Todd had worked as a stockbroker, a field in which he’d enjoyed notable success til losing all his money in the 1920s crash, prospected for gold in California and Panama, and worked as a forest ranger. In the 1930s whilst working for Chrysler in his native Detroit he joined the Chrysler Camera Club. A workshop class with Ansel Adams stoked his interest in photography. And so it was that after the war he picked up his camera and in search of anew life headed to New York City. There he “nurtured a friendship with Alfred Stieglitz”, whom he met in 1942, and his wife, the hymned artist Georgia O’Keeffe. She introduced Tood to Beaumont Newhall – in 1946 Newhall curated an exhibition of Todd’s photographs for The Museum of The City of New York: I See A City. Some of those you can see here.
“I have an intense interest in and feeling for people. Often, I find subject matter with no visible persons to be more peopled than the crowded street scene. Every window, doorway, street, building, every mark on a wall, every sign, has a human connotation.”
– Todd Webb
“They stood in a row and I asked them to just stand as though they were talking. The boy who seemed to be the leader said with an Eastside accent, ‘Oh, you mean nonchalant. OK guys, get nonchalant.’ It sounded funnier than it reads.”
– Todd Webb, April 20, 1946
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