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Hungarian immigrant John Albok (1896-1982) made a living as a tailor in New York City. In his spare time, he photographed the city and its people. At 70, he looks back on his life, his photographs and the opportunities he received from his adopted country.

 

Since John Albok’s death in 1982, his reputation as an original American photographer continues to grow; his pictures are in the permanent collections of the New-York Historical Society and The Museum of the City of New York. They are offered by leading private dealers and at auction.

 

John Albok maintained a tailor shop at Madison Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan for nearly sixty years. At night his back room became his darkroom as this film illustrates. Albok’s photographs, most of which were taken within a few blocks of his shop—some even through his front window—fall into themes. There are people on the street, Central Park scenes, the homeless, passersby, his neighbors and many, many children.

 

In providing the sole narration for this award-winning documentary, Albok comments on his work, offers his observations on society and photography and describes his encounters with many of the people he encountered through his lens.

John Albok's New York (1966)