New Oral History: East Village Photography Pioneer Alex Harsley

We’re honored to share our latest oral history with East Village photography pioneer Alex Harsley. Alex founded and has curated the 4th Street Photo Gallery since the early 1970s, when he also founded the nonprofit Minority Photographers. His documentary photo career dates back to 1958 as the first black photographer for the NYC District Attorney, and has grown to include film, video, and digital sound, and subjects including musicians, politicians, street characters, and perhaps most importantly, the East Village neighborhood around him. Harsley talks in detail about his decades in the East Village and its artistic scene, how it’s influenced him and how he has worked within it, and serving as a mentor to countless younger photographers. 

This latest oral history adds to our collection of over 60, with preservationists like Jane Jacobs and Margot Gayle; merchants like the Strand’s Fred Bass and Romana Raffetto of Raffetto’s; choreographers like Merce Cunningham; activists like CHARAS’s Chino Garcia and Fran Goldin; playwrights like John Guare and Virlana Tkacz; photographers like Marlis Momber; writers like Calvin Trillin and Mimi Sheraton; filmmakers like Jonas Mekas; musicians like David Amram; and performance artists like Penny Arcade

December 16, 2022