Transit Photography: Then and Now
Thursday, March 16th, 2023
6:00 PM ET
Free Online Program
Since breaking ground to build the city’s first subway system, transit officials have hired photographers to survey and document areas before, during, and after construction. These photographs represent a rich historical record of New York through time, capturing rare and forgotten moments, and the architecture and culture of a city in flux.
Join Transit Museum Curator Jodi Shapiro, and current and former MTA staff photographers Marc A. Hermann and Patrick Cashin for a discussion on transit photography through the decades. They’ll detail present-day efforts to document a dynamic urban system and look back to the Pullis brothers, whose photographs of New York transit are featured in the Museum’s current exhibit, Streetscapes & Subways: Photographs by Pierre P. and Granville W. Pullis.
Jodi Shapiro is a lifelong New Yorker who started working at the New York Transit Museum Archive in 2014. Since then, she’s curated shows about the Second Avenue Subway, the IRT Flushing Line, New York’s transit system as portrayed in comics, the rich transportation history of The Bronx, and the Pullis brothers (to name a few). When she’s not digging through the archives for “the good stuff”, she’s out with the Museum’s vintage fleet or telling people cool transit-related stories. Before she joined the New York Transit Museum family, Jodi had many jobs, but the most significant of these was working as an archivist for several artists’ estates, including some world-renown photographers. She holds a Master’s in Library Science and is doing what she can to return Standard to the signage in New York’s transit system.
Patrick Cashin’s interest in photography began during his time in the Navy on board the USS Denver but became a more serious pursuit after photographing Operation Frequent Wind – the evacuation of Vietnam. Following his discharge from the Navy, he joined Newsweek magazine working in the photo lab while taking evening classes at Parsons School of Design for photography. He began picking up photography assignments for Newsweek and freelance clients. He took pictures for the Naval Reserve and the Air National Guard as a Master Sergeant assigned to the 111th Fighter Wing. After retiring from service, Cashin started working for the MTA where he remained until June of 2020. His photography has appeared in the New York Times, The Sunday Times, New York Daily News, The Weekly Flickr, Channel Thirteen Metro Focus, and MTA brochures and ads. He continues to make images on a freelance basis.
Marc A. Hermann, a lifelong Brooklynite, serves as a Media Liaison - Photographer in the MTA Press Office. He was appointed to MTA New York City Transit in November, 2012, days after Superstorm Sandy, and immediately went to work documenting recovery efforts. Previously, he had worked as a photographer and photo assignment editor for the Daily News, starting his career as a freelancer at the age of 15, chasing breaking news stories via the subway. He is the historian of the New York Press Photographers Association, curator of the Fire Bell Club of New York, and has appeared on screen in such projects as "Boardwalk Empire," "The Knick," and "Bridge of Spies." And he shares a birthday with the groundbreaking day of the IRT.
All attendees are welcome. You will have the option to turn on automatic captions for this virtual program. Staff will share instructions for how to do so at the start of the event. Please email [email protected] with any questions.
Please contact [email protected] for general inquiries.
Image: Photo by Patrick Cashin
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