Punctuated by documentary photo essays such as Black in White America, Fire Hydrant is one of Leonard Freed's most iconic in the Harlem series. In the image of Fire Hydrant, two children enjoy a blissful moment of summer in 1963. A city hydrant spraying water offers the children relief from the sun’s heat. They smile, as water soaks their body and collects along the street. The photo captures a moment of celebration, joy, and simplicity of childhood experienced on the steamy asphalt streets of New York City in the 1960s.
Fire Hydrant, Harlem, 1963 by Leonard Freed is 24/10 in a planned edition of 100, but only 25 prints were made (as per estate annotation on verso). Signed recto (photo front) and numbered (recto) the 20" x 16" archival Iris print includes a "Certificate of Tirage."
LITERATURE: W. A. Ewing, N. Herschdorfer, and W. van Sinderen, Worldview, Leonard Freed, Steidl, 2007, p. 127.
Provenance: Freed Estate
Leonard Freed (1929-2006) was an American photographer from Brooklyn, New York. His "Black in White America" series made him known as a documentarian, a social documentary photographer. Freed worked as a freelance photographer from 1961 onwards and as a Magnum photographer Freed traveled widely abroad and, in the US, photographing African Americans (1964-65), events in Israel (1967-68, 1973), and the New York City police department (1972-79). Freed's coverage of the American civil rights movement is well-known as are his photo essays on New York, Italy, Germany, The Kate Series, among others.
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