Online exhibit: NYC's Vanished Cafeterias

photo and text: "Lane Hall Gallery Online Exhibit"
photo and text: "Lane Hall Gallery Online Exhibit"

The Lane Hall Gallery's current exhibit is now available to view online! Photographer and historian Marcia Bricker Halperin documented NYC's iconic cafeterias from 1975-85.

The streets of New York City were filled with hundreds of cafeterias, self-service eating establishments, during the early to mid-20th Century. Their growth paralleled the rise of the office worker, women’s evolving roles in the work force, immigration, American love of efficiency and novelty, the growth of cities, the impact of Prohibition and the Depression, the labor movement, and American eating habits. Not one cafeteria from that era remains in New York City today. One particular restaurant, Dubrow’s Cafeteria in Brooklyn, was a legendary institution that served as a second home for many of the neighborhood’s elderly residents. Along with another Dubrow’s, a hub of the Garment Center, they provided a restaurant-cum-social club or “third place” for a generation of Jewish New Yorkers. New York City-based photographer Marcia Bricker Halperin documented Dubrow’s and other cafeterias in their waning days, drawn to the memorable faces and the liveliness and sorrow of urban life in that vanished world.

Exhibit Cosponsors: Institute for Research on Women & Gender, Department of Women’s Studies, the Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Department of American Culture

Artist Bio: Marcia Bricker Halperin is a Documentary Photographer who has been photographing the characters and landscapes of NYC since the 1970s. Born in Brooklyn, NY, she received a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Brooklyn College, where she studied painting with Phillip Pearlstein and Jimmy Ernst, sculpture with Lee Bontecou and photography with Walter Rosenblum. In photographing she hopes to relate a human story of a specific time, capture a places’ essence, and freeze details of life.

View the exhibit online: 

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