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[Customers waiting in line at a butcher's counter during wartime rationing, Washington Market, New York]

Date 1941-44 (printed 2012)
Location New York United States
Dimensions Image: 9 x 13 13/16 in. (22.9 x 35.1 cm)
Print medium Photo-Digital-Inkjet

New York’s Washington Market, famed for its exceptional variety and quantity of food, was established in the eighteenth century. Vishniac documented the mostly female customers waiting for service during a period of wartime restrictions and food rationing. Through careful framing—customers stand against bare counters and voided display cases—he captured disenchanted expressions that can be read as a projection of Vishniac’s own experience as a new immigrant in America, as well as a record of comparative privation in the former plenty of Washington Market. As such, they anticipate the isolation and indifference shown in The Americans by Robert Frank, another Jewish immigrant from wartorn Europe.


© Mara Vishniac Kohn

Credit line

International Center of Photography

Feedback Accession No. 2012.80.9