John Albok (1895-1982)
was born in Hungary and immigrated to the United States
in 1921. He established a successful tailoring business
at 1392 Madison Avenue. For sixty years he photographed
New York using a 5 x 7 view camera and later a twin-lens
reflex camera. His photographs, many of which were taken
through his shop window, document the lives and politics
of ordinary New Yorkers. He is best known for his Depression-era
portraiture of New York's poor and working class people.
His first one- man show was staged by the Museum of the
City of New York in 1938. His 1982 retrospective, "Tailored
Images," opened on the same site just two days before
This small sampling of Albok's work includes images from 1930s May Day Parades, the 1939 World's Fair, 1960s Labor Day Parades, 1960s Peace Demonstrations, and a portrait of a plumber at work.