The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Photography Exhibit Shows Scenes of Staten Island 100 Years Apart

By Nicholas Rizzi | September 6, 2016 4:52pm
 The exhibit will pair similar images by both photographers, like these two of men fixing a home in West Brighton in the 1980s and Austen's grandfather trimming flowers in 1891.
The exhibit will pair similar images by both photographers, like these two of men fixing a home in West Brighton in the 1980s and Austen's grandfather trimming flowers in 1891.
View Full Caption
Christine Osinski and Alice Austen

ROSEBANK — Photographs separated by 100 years will show how a century changed Staten Island at a new exhibition.

Christine Osinski will pair her photographs taken of the borough with similar ones taken by famous camerawoman Alice Austen for her new show "In Conversation," set to open on Sept. 18 at the Alice Austen House Museum in Rosebank.

"The exhibition is meant for the images to play off each other, have a conversation with each other," Osinski said.

"Pictures separated by maybe 100 years could maybe talk with each other."

The exhibit features photographs of the borough taken by Austen from the 1800s to the early 1900s paired with matching images shot by Osinski in the summers of 1983 and 1984, many of them published earlier this year in the book "Summer Days: Staten Island."

A self portrait of Alice Austen from 1897 and Boy on Bicycle from the 1980s. (Alice Austen and Christine Osinski)

Osinski was given an opportunity to do a show at the Alice Austen House Museum and started looking at Austen's photos online. Despite not being versed in Austen's work at the time, Osinski noticed similar images and subjects in their work.

"When I started playing with the images of some of mine next to hers, I felt that in a sense time collapsed," Osinski said. 

"Some of our subjects were very similar and the fact that we both used large format cameras and our approach to our photography and our approach to subjects is very, very similar.

"I began to wonder about how much of that had to do with Staten Island itself, how much of it had to do with the equipment or how much of it really had to do with the fact that we're both women who were just photographing everyday life as we found it?"

The exhibit has roughly 32 pictures from the two photographers grouped together by subject, Osinski said.

While she found similarities in other subjects they shot — including of the small islands off the coast of Staten Island and of people in Manhattan — Osinski decided to keep the focus on the borough.

Osinski — a Guggenheim Fellow and professor at Cooper Union — moved to Staten Island in 1982 after she and her husband were kicked out of their Lower Manhattan loft when it was sold to developers.

They eventually settled on West Brighton and in the summers of 1983 and 1984, Osinski traveled around her new home borough and documented the people and landscapes.

The shots were eventually published for the first time this year in her book and the exhibit will be the first time they'll be shown on Staten Island.

Aside from the exhibit, Osinski, who eventually moved out of Staten Island and relocated to Connecticut, will host a "photowalk" through Rosebank on Oct. 22 limited to 20 people.

"The plan is to take a photographic field trip," Osinski said. "I want to talk about photographing strangers and certain approaches I have used."

"In Conversation: The Photographs of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski" will have an opening reception on Sept. 18 from 2 to 3 p.m. for members then 3 to 5 p.m. for the public, at the Alice Austen House Museum, 2 Hylan Blvd. The exhibit will run until Dec. 23.