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Exploring Virtual Village Voices, Part 3: cummings, Cunningham, and Draper

In 2021 and 2022, Village Preservation developed an innovative outdoor public art exhibition that was displayed throughout Greenwich Village, the East Village, and NoHo. VILLAGE VOICES featured photographs, artifacts, and soundscape recordings to celebrate and honor the artistic, social, political, and cultural movements that have grown in our neighborhoods, and the people who gave them voice. 

We have now made those exhibits permanently available online. Today we explore three more of our 31 shadowboxes from the event: e.e. cummings, Merce Cunningham, and John W. Draper.

e.e. cummings

One of America’s most celebrated 20th-century poets, Edward Estlin Cummings, or e.e. cummings, wrote poems known for their experimental nature and striking visual layout.

After graduating from Harvard, cummings came to New York in 1917 to work for publishing house P.F Collier in the Meatpacking District. After serving in the ambulance corps during World War I (and being imprisoned on suspicion of espionage which later became the subject of his first novel, ‘The Enormous Room‘) and some time in Paris, he settled down in Greenwich Village in the early 1920s at 4 Patchin Place.

e.e. cummings shadowbox designed by Penny Hardy, PS New York

The audio is narrated by actor, filmmaker, and Village resident Edward Norton.

Click here to read more about e.e. cummings.

Merce Cunningham

One of the most influential choreographers of the 20th century, Cunningham was a dance-maker, fierce collaborator, innovator, film producer, and teacher. During his 70 years of creative practice, Cunningham’s exploration forever changed the landscape of dance, music, and contemporary art. He lived at 107 Bank Street with his partner John Cage, and for many years his studio was located at Westbeth Artists Housing in the Far West Village at Bethune and West Streets.

Merce Cunningham shadowbox designed by Penny Hardy, PS New York

This audio is narrated by dancer, choreographer, and director Mark Morris.

Click here to read more about Merce Cunningham.

John W. Draper

Born in England, Draper helped found NYU’s Medical School where he would later serve as president. On March 16, 1840, Draper took the first clear Daguerreotype photograph of the Moon from the rooftop NYU oberservatory, located at 100 Washington Square East between Washington and Waverly Places.

John W. Draper shadowbox designed by Penny Hardy, PS New York

This audio is narrated by British-American songwriter and producer Mark Ronson.

Click here to read more about John W. Draper.

Click here to access all 31 village voices exhibits and audio.

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