Westbeth at 50

Westbeth Artists Housing

The exhibition “Westbeth at 50” celebrates the 50th Anniversary of NYC’s Westbeth Artists Housing. The exhibition is installed in two parts. Part one honors some of Westbeth’s longest-standing residents with a series of photographs by Frankie Alduino, installed on windows throughout Westbeth’s outdoor courtyard. Part two activates the building’s high-traffic interior areas with image reproductions, texts, ephemera, artworks, and framed prints by Magnum Photos alum Leonard Freed.

Exhibition Text by Jacoba Urist
Exhibition Production by Luce Production
Installation Photographs by Michael Vahrenwald

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Filling entire windows, Alduino’s portraits show residents in their home studios/apartments, surrounded by objects, tools, and effects of their daily lives. The exterior-facing interior photographs turn Westbeth inside out, revealing details of this innovative and radical artists enclave that has existed in lower Manhattan since 1970.

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50 Creative Moments highlights the breadth of artmaking and activism that took root over the last half century at Westbeth.

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Image blow up of the original Westbeth welcome booklet published in 1970.

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Title wall and a signed poster of the inaugural class of Westbeth’s 383 residents.

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These photos—taken by original Westbeth resident and Magnum Photos alum Leonard Freed—reflect a behind-the-scenes history of the first years at Westbeth (1969–1971), right as the first wave of tenants was moving in. Some of these were published in issue 14 of Avant Garde magazine.