The Times Covers Historical Society’s “Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: The Lost Photographs of David Attie”

In the latest Arts & Design section, the New York Times covers Brooklyn Historical Society’s exhibit Truman Capote’s Brooklyn: The Lost Photographs of David Attie, a show that “really captures that time when Brooklyn Heights was not the wealthy place that it was in the mid-1800s, when it was the original suburbs, and certainly not the place it is now, but was a little marginal,” according to Marcia Ely, who helped organize the exhibition.

The 40 photographs on exhibit were taken by photographer David Attie in 1958, while being shown around the neighborhood by Truman Capote, for an assignment to illustrate Capote’s essay “’A House on the Heights,’ famous for its opening line, provocative at the time: ‘I live in Brooklyn. By choice.’” Some of the photos were published in the February 1959 issue of Holiday, but most sat warehoused for decades until Attie’s son Eli discovered them.

The Times article is a bit of fascinating neighborhood history, and a heart-warming story of a son’s discovery of his father’s work, that is well-worth reading. Some of Attie’s superb snapshots of old Brooklyn Heights, all shot on Kodak Safety Film, can also be seen on the Photo District News website. The Historical Society’s exhibit is on view through July 2017.

(Lead photo: from Brooklyn Historical Society’s facebook page.)

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  • Andrew Porter

    The photo of the “Boro Pet Center” on the PDN website is now the middle-eastern restaurant on Henry Street. Hard to identify other sites as the areas have changed so much.

    I think Attie’s photo showing kids playing at a corner on Henry Street (below) has a much corroded sign pointing the way to Coney Island. Such signs were common in the decades before the BQE and other superhighways transformed car traffic.