Leipzig, best known for is photo essays depicting life in New York in the 1940s, has spent a lifetime capturing the human condition through his photographs. On Assignment is the first major presentation to highlight the broad range of Leipzig’s astute photographic vision. Included are some fifty photographs representing his most significant bodies of work either taken on assignment for major publications or for his own “self-assignments”: children, New York rural labor, winter fishing in the Atlantic, Pablo Casals, Mexico, pediatric hospitals, and Jewish life. Leipzig viewed photography as an exciting way to both connect with the world and to separate from it. He has remarked: “I have been able to observe the world and myself. Photography has helped me to learn much about both.” At eighty-six, Leipzig’s lifetime of learning is clearly visible in his photographs, a broad selection of which have been gathered into this exhibition, Digital Photography Weblog reports.
Born in 1918, Leipzig came of age in the Depression. He left school at the age of seventeen and while working at a wholesale glass plant, he seriously injured and lost the use of his right hand for fourteen months. The accident propelled him into photography, beginning with studies at the Photo League, the association of amateur and professional photographers based in New York City, which ultimately was shut down by the House of UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1951. A.M.