The City Within: Brooklyn Photographs by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at Museum of the City of New York, March 11 – September 20, 2020

The City Within: Brooklyn Photographs by Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb features more than 30 images culled from the collaborative eponymous series started in 2014. The show offers a poignant and powerful portrait of the borough that the artists have called home for some 20 years.

Over the course of its history, Brooklyn has transformed from farmland to a bedroom community to a buzzy destination. For The City Within, the Webbs have traversed nearly every corner of Brooklyn, showing its dichotomy as a bustling, diverse metropolis and a place full of green spaces and tranquility. While much of the world now associates Brooklyn with film shoots, hipsters, and artists, it is also an archipelago of neighborhoods that is even more multicultural than it was over a century ago. The duo’s photographs of Brooklyn tell a broader American story, one that touches on immigration, community, nature, and home.” — Museum of the City of New York

“I’m not sure we could have done this (series) without the impetus of our eventual departure from Brooklyn,” says Alex. “The vantage point of our leaving enabled us to see our home borough with fresh eyes. This allowed each of us to say farewell creatively in our own ways — me by photographing the streets, Rebecca by photographing and writing about the green spaces near where we live.”

The show highlights a particularly poignant time for the Webbs to be focusing their lenses on their home versus far-flung locations. Rebecca explains, “Alex and I will be leaving our Park Slope neighborhood sometime in the next few years, so the project is a kind of farewell to Brooklyn – our home for 20-plus years.”

Brooklyn. Brownsville.  Easter Parade/Easter Egg Hunt.  Some Red Hook

Alex Webb. Brownsville, Easter Sunday, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Alex Webb. Park Slope, 2018. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn.  Park Slope, Williamsburg, Bushwick/Bedford Stuyvesant, streets

Alex Webb. Williamsburg, 2018. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn. Street scenes. Ditmas. 18th Ave

Alex Webb. Borough Park, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn.  Flatbush area. Parkside Empire Street Festival.  birthday party

Alex Webb. Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, 2015. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn. Around Farragut Housing projects

Alex Webb. Vinegar Hill, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Rebecca Norris Webb. Star, Prospect Park, 2015. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Brooklyn

Rebecca Norris Webb. Our Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

The City Within

Rebecca Norris Webb. Shimmering, Prospect Park, 2018. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

Stuart, Florida

Rebecca Norris Webb. In the Rain, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2017. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Rebecca Norris Webb. Family Tree, Prospect Park, 2015. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Rebecca Norris Webb. Under the Lilacs, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Rebecca Norris Webb. Two Worlds, Prospect Park, 2013. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

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Rebecca Norris Webb. Winter Storm, Prospect Park, 2016. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

The City Within

Rebecca Norris Webb. Night Before Aretha Died, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, 2017. Chromogenic development print. Courtesy of the artist

“Alex’s compositions reverberate with the energy of color, contrasting shadow and light, and movement. Rebecca’s stay true to her poetic roots, presenting dreamlike, quiet and nuanced images that are more like a meditation,” says Sean Corcoran, curator of prints and photographs, Museum of the City of New York. “In The City Within, they each create distinctive narratives, but expertly weave their viewpoints together into a harmonious ensemble. And, like the borough itself, their view of Brooklyn is an exquisite union of visual and emotional complexity.”

Images courtesy Museum of the City of New York.