‘LES Heritage Film Series’ Returns with Unpublished Rebecca Lepkoff Photos

Posted on: October 7th, 2013 at 10:21 am by

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Hester Street, Photo: Rebecca Lepkoff

The über-popular “LES Heritage Film Series” returns next Tuesday for its third season at the recently-landmarked Seward Park Library.  This first installment of the 2013-2014 program includes both a 16-millimeter film and photograph component.

Legendary chronicler Rebecca Lepkoff will present a series of her prints from the streets of the Lower East Side between 1930 and 1980. Most of the work documents the Seward Park area surrounding the library, and is presently unpublished. A Q&A session with the nonagenarian is set to follow.

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Following the exhibit is a screening of the compilation short The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood it Serves.

The Seward Park Branch and the Neighborhood It Serves (1934-35, 1941, 1959; 25 min., 16mm)

Highlights the central role of the New York Public Library within a diverse, vibrant, and ever-changing community. View and experience Seward Park as the portrait of the neighborhood changes from crisp black and white to vivid color, as streets once filled with pushcarts become lined with sharp-finned cars, and as children sled on snowy sidewalks before sitting down for “story time” in a green park.  The earliest footage, from 1934–5 and 1941, was captured and edited by Grace Hardie, a former Seward Park Branch staff member. In 1959, Bill Sloan, head of the Donnell Library Center’s Film Library, and his wife Gwen shot the color section using a 16mm Bolex.

As before, librarian Sean Ferguson curates and screens neighborhood-specific short films on a monthly basis.

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