Exhibit on Photographing the Foreclosure Crisis

By Nicholas Rizzi on May 1, 2012 3:04pm 

"Foreclosure Alley" by Guillaume Zuili will be among the photographs displayed at "Foreclosed: Documents of the American Housing Crisis," in the Alice Austen House on May 5, 2012.
"Foreclosure Alley" by Guillaume Zuili will be among the photographs displayed at "Foreclosed: Documents of the American Housing Crisis," in the Alice Austen House on May 5, 2012.
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Foreclosure Alley/Guillaume Zuili

STATEN ISLAND — An upcoming exhibit will show how people told the story of the foreclosure crisis using their camera lenses.

"Foreclosed: Documents of the American Housing Crisis," will open this Saturday at the Alice Austen House Museum, Rosebank. The exhibit, which will feature a mix of fine art photographers and photojournalists, aims to show how photographers are using photos to tell the story of the housing crash: from the bubble burst in 2006 to the present.

The exhibit will also feature several pictures about Austen's own foreclosure crisis, said Sara Signorelli, director of museum services for the Alice Austen house.

"In 1945 [Austen] was evicted from this home," Signorelli said. "The bank foreclosed on it after the stock market crash in the depression and [she] ended up in the poor house."

Austen stayed in the poor house for three years until her photos were discovered and published. The exhibit will show photos published in LIFE magazine of Austen's return to her former home and taken by famed photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, best know for "V-J Day in Times Square."

The opening reception for "Foreclosure" will feature a presentation by Pulitzer Prize winner John Moore, of Getty Images, and Paul Moakley, deputy photo editor for Time magazine and curator of the museum. It will also serve as an open house to get votes for a preservation grant.

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation selected 40 sites across the five boroughs to compete for $3 million in preservation funds by tallying online votes.

Voting ends on May 21 and the four most popular choices will split $1 million, according to Partners in Preservation's website. The remaining $2 million will be giving to a site chosen by an advisory committee.

Signorelli said the museum will use the funds to perform repairs on the house, including fixing a broken chimney.

"Foreclosed: Documents of the American Housing Crisis," will run until June 15 and is free to the public. The opening day presentation is from 1 to 2 p.m., with a reception to follow until 6 p.m.

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