Rebecca Lepkoff was a modern dance student and 23-year-old recent City College graduate when she decided to earn a few extra bucks by dancing at the 1939 New York World’s Fair. She scraped together the money she earned and bought her first camera—a second-hand Voigtlander—and immediately took to the streets of her native city to document the lives of fellow New Yorkers, a lifelong project that resulted in one of the more intimate and personal photographic records of New York’s Lower East Side produced in the last century. Lepkoff died last weekend, a few days after her 98th birthday.
The daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants, Lepkoff grew up in a tenement on Hester Street. Her father was a tailor and the family bounced around various Lower East Side addresses as they struggled to improve their circumstances. She got married in 1941, settling in a nearby tenement on Cherry Street, where she had three children and focused her lens on the world she inhabited, knew, and loved, documenting the ordinary denizens of the city.
(notre pré-enregistrée : rose on holiday)