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By Matthew Nighswander
In 1968, photographer Bill Cunningham began "Facades," a project that involved posing models in front of New York City architectural landmarks, with the playful twist that models would be wearing clothes of the same era as the construction of the landmark. Fellow photographer, Editta Sherman, who was also Cunningham's neighbor, posed in many of the photos.
A book of the images was published in 1978, but Cunningham recently donated 88 gelatin silver prints from the series to the New-York Historical Society which are featured in a current exhibition.
The passage of time has added a new layer of complexity to Cunningham's photos as the model's surroundings, the bystanders and cars in the background, are transformed into historical curiosities. A graffiti-covered subway car in one photo becomes a telling emblem of a bygone New York.
ABOVE: Editta Sherman poses in front of the "News" plaque at the entrance to 50 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly the home of The Associated Press. The piece was designed by Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi in 1940. It shows five journalists working on a breaking story.