“LaSalle at Amsterdam” 1946 © Todd Webb Archive, Portland, Maine USA
“125th Street” 1946 © Todd Webb Archive, Portland, Maine USA
The photographs arrived at The Curator Gallery in a box meant for curator Bill Shapiro, the former editor of Life magazine. When he saw the first few pictures, the curator wondered if he could possibly be looking at the work of a Life photographer he didn’t recognize. He had never heard of the man behind the hundred-some images inside the box.
As it turned out, the package had been left for him by Betsy Evans, a friend of the late photographer Todd Webb, who left behind an extensive archive. Though the elusive photographer had never been at Life, Webb shared a time, a place, and a sensibility with those who had. He was friends with Life staffer Gordon Parks. He also worked and played alongside Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, Lisette Model, Berenice Abbott, and Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe.