Item no. 28123
New York
Collection: NYU Tamiment Library

For over 150 years, Union Square, at the Northern tip of New York City's Greenwich Village, has been a site for the exercise of free speech and assembly, particularly among workers and immigrants. This image by photographer John Albok captures participants in the 1937 May Day Parade in Union Square. Note how Albok elicits the visual power of the scene through his graceful composition and contrast, calling attention to the white column of marchers.

Albok was himself a Hungarian immigrant who owned a tailor shop in New York City and pursued photography alongside his trade, documenting city life as well as labor and left activism.

The image is part of the Labor Arts exhibit, Union Square, A National Historic Landmark which examines the events and images behind the commemoration of Union Square as a historic site. 

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