New Photography Exhibition Shows a Side of Bill Cunningham's Work You've Never Seen Before

You know him as the grandfather of street style, but fashion wasn't always the first thing on his mind.

Though Bill Cunningham is best known for documenting the evolution of street style in New York City, his new exhibition at the New York Historical Society, Bill Cunningham: Facades, has more to do with the city's architecture than with fashion.

From 1968 and 1976, a period when the city's crime rates rose and general quality of life decreased, the longtime New York Times photographer styled his friend and muse (and fellow photographer) Editta Sherman, as well as other models, in period clothing that reflects the spirit of some of city's most noteworthy landmarks.

"Cunningham's vivid sense of New York's illustrious past and his unfettered optimism about its future make the photographs among the most dramatic and important documentation of the city's social history," said the society's president, Louise Mirrer.

Sherman, whose sharp tongue and wit nearly stole the show in the documentary Bill Cunningham New York, built a career as a celebrity portrait photographer, shooting everyone from Andy Warhol to Angela Lansbury. The exhibit is as much a tribute to New York as it is to Sherman's memory: she died last November at the age of 101.

The exhibit, which opens Friday and runs through June 15, 2014, will showcase 80 photos that Sherman and Cunningham worked on together. Take a sneak peek at a few of the images below.


Grand Central Terminal


General Motors Building


Associated Press Building at Rockefeller Center


Editta Sherman on the Train to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

—Details associate online style editor Justin Fenner.

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Images courtesy of the New York Historical Society
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