City Pulse

By Eudie Pak

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For any of you who love spending time in the dark room (no, not the sexy-sexy kind), come out to the International Center of Photography (ICP) in Midtown to experience over 125 vintage photos along with additional magazine and layout spreads of twentieth century famed photographer Martin Munkasci (1896-1963).

A Hungarian Jew, Munkasci captured the spirit of the modern era through his unprecedented dynamic shots of athletes, entertainers, fashionistas, and everyday people in exotic locals. He also documented the rise of German Nazism before he decided to skedaddle to New York in the early 1930s to work at Harper’s Bazaar (smart guy to get the hell outta dodge, no?).


Fun on the beach – Lunabad, Berlin, 1930.


Boys running into the surf at Lake Tanganyika, ca. 1930.


Lucile Brokaw on the Long Island Beach, 1933.

I took my sweet time going through his exhibit since every picture was so magnetic and moving. Looking at his black-and-white oeuvres, it’s easy feeling the energy coming out of his subjects, while at the same time feeling yourself pulled into every captured moment. The photos above are some of my favorites. (Mr. Photographer came with me and noted he liked the butt-bearin’ African boys snap the best…I cocked my eyebrow but kept myself from asking why)…

Go now. Munkasci’s (and all other current exhibits) will end on April 29th. Other works on display: Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Scrapbook: Photographs, 1932-46; Louise Brooks and the ‘New Woman’ in Weimar Cinema; and Americana Fantastica: Recent Acquisitions 2007.

The ICP Museum is located on 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd St. For more info:

Originally published April 2007
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