Happy Birthday Alice Austen!
One of the nation’s earliest and most prolific female photographers!
Happy Birthday to two amazing Staten Island artists: Alice Austen and John Noble!
Alice Austen (1866-1952) was one of the earliest and most prolific female photographers. Today, you can visit her Staten Island home (which has amazing views of the Narrows) and view a fraction of the thousands of photos she took in her lifetime, as well as contemporary photography exhibits. www.AliceAusten.org.
John A. Noble (1913-1983) is a nationally acclaimed maritime artist who specialized in sketches, paintings and lithographs of New York Harbor. Both his art and the houseboat/studio from which he worked are on display at the Noble Maritime Collection, which is on the grounds of Snug Harbor Cultural Center. www.noblemaritime.org, www.snug-harbor.org.
Happy Birthday, you crazy kids!
Last winter, work brought some of us to the former Farm Colony in Staten Island.
People who had no where else to go would live in this poorhouse, spread over 70 acres, and earn their keep by working on its farm.
At the age of 84, Alice Austen was forced to move here in 1950. The publication of her photographs garnered enough money for members of the Staten Island Historical Society to move her to a nursing home.
Today these landmark buildings are completely dilapidated and have fallen into ruin.
They have been stripped of their fixtures and vandalized. The weather has taken down roofs and walls. In an effort to keep the homeless and addicts out, many of the doors and windows have been sealed off with cinder blocks.
Yet, despite all the damage, they’re still amazing.