Ajax loader
John Vachon for LOOK magazine
John Vachon (1914-1975) was born in St. Paul, Minnesota and received a bachelor's degree in English literature from St. Thomas College at age 20. He began his career as a photographer working for Roy Stryker (1893-1975) at the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression. Vachon became a staff photographer for LOOK in 1947 and worked at the magazine for 25 years. His technical skill, dramatic composition and talent for engaging his subjects often led editors to assign many of the most interesting stories to him. The photographs capture the subtle societal and cultural issues of the era within diverse narratives, and New York emerges as simultaneously the most American and the least American city in the nation.

Focusing the Lens: Creating Online Public Access to the Work of John Vachon in the LOOK Magazine Collection will make available approximately 18,500 photographs from 54 of Vachon's LOOK magazine assignments over the course of the next two and a half years. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant MA-30-18-0153-18.
Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [View from Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [View from Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Interior of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Interior of Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Mendelson's penthouse terrace on Prospect Park West.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [T. Harry McKenna home.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

New York in the Summertime

New York in the Summertime

Date of assignment May 25, 1949.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Fort Hamilton Cannon.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Washington Cemetery.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Washington Cemetery.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Tombstone of Samuel Spiesman in Washington Cemetery.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Tombstone of Samuel Spiesman in Washington Cemetery.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Adrian Van Sinderen.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Washington Cemetery.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Washington Cemetery.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [S. J. Perelman.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Brooklyn Nobody Knows [Gage and Tollner.]

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Brooklyn Nobody Knows

Date of assignment September 21, 1948.

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