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[Boys exercising in the gymnasium of the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, New York]

Date ca. 1949
Location Brooklyn New York United States
Dimensions Image: 8 5/8 x 7 7/8 in. (21.9 x 20 cm)
Paper: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Print medium Photo-Gelatin silver

The Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst, known as the “J,” was established in 1927 to serve the growing population of first-generation American Jews migrating to South Brooklyn. The J’s mission, to “ennoble Jewish youth” by building and fostering a sense of Jewish community, was accomplished through the promotion of arts and recreation for all ages. American Jewish major league baseball legend Sandy Koufax, a regular at the J, had started his sports career there as a basketball player.
In a dramatic departure from his iconic photographs of impoverished children in prewar eastern Europe, here Vishniac focused on the strong, healthy young American children. The children’s vitality is reinforced by the diagonal lines and geometric angles of the ropes, contributing to a forceful and innovative composition reflective of Vishniac’s previously unknown American work from the 1940s.


© Mara Vishniac Kohn

Credit line

Gift of Mara Vishniac Kohn, 2013

Feedback Accession No. 1992.784