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5th Avenue

  • [I]5th Avenue[/I] was the first photobook by Fred Stein and was created in 1947 with the publishing house Pantheon Books.
  • Kind of Object:
  • Name:
    5th Avenue

    Word Count: 2

  • Creator (Person):
    Fred Stein
  • Year Start:
  • Year End:
  • Material:


  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    610 West 145th Street, Washington Heights, Manhattan, New York City.

  • Language:
  • City:
    New York City (US)
  • Introduction:

    5th Avenue was the first photobook by Fred Stein and was created in 1947 with the publishing house Pantheon Books.

    Word Count: 19

  • Content:

    In 1947 Fred Stein published his first photobook 5th Avenue with the publishing house Pantheon Books. His first photobook, it was received with high praise, as can be seen in the reviews, and enhanced his professional reputation. The photobook starts at the south end of 5th Avenue and, over the course of 100 images, follows it north, to end in Harlem. The images capture well the diversity and changing character of the street and the variety of cultures, ethnicities and social conditions of the inhabitants can be seen as a metaphor for the city. Fred Stein was a sensitive photographer, his approach always humanistic and touched with humour as he captured life on the streets. Employing unusual perspectives, angles and details of everyday scenes, the book is dedicated to the historic street and captures the essence of metropolitan life through a mix of street views, architectural shots and pictures of people. Although the narrative of the book is provided by the walk from the south to the north end of 5th Avenue, the careful selection and arrangement of the images add to its impact. Two images on a double-page spread enter into a dialogue with one another and provide interesting juxtapositions as well as commonalities, so that flicking through the pages allows the reader to share Stein's experience of walking down the street. The same year, 1947, a French edition of 5th Avenue was published with the help of the émigré publishing house Querido, co-founded by the German émigré publisher Fritz H. Landshoff (the great uncle of Hermann Landshoff). Both founders, Kurt Wolff and Fritz H. Landshoff, were photographed by Fred Stein for his series on émigré authors and intellectuals in exile in New York.

    Other photobooks with the topic on New York published by émigré photographers include: Manhattan Magic by Mario Bucovich, Chinatown U.S.A. by Elizabeth Coleman, Time Square by Rolf Tietgens and New York by Andreas Feininger as well as a collection of essays by Ann Tizian Leitich in her book New York.
    The photobook had several functions for the émigré photographer. As a publishing medium it was independent of the art market and museums and favoured self-representation (Parr 2004, 9–11; Ziehe 2015, 9). It also allowed to secure the self-marketing, economic and financial conditions for emigrated photographers (Seeber 2015, 10–13), and offered the photographer an opportunity to build a professional reputation in exile. Furthermore, photographs taken before emigration could be brought before a wider public. (Grebe 2015, 171) Pantheon was not the only publishing house to support the creation of photobooks by émigré photographers. Among the others who did so were: J.J. Augustin (Horst P. Horst, George Hoyningen-Huene, André Kertész, Alexey Brodovitch); Oceana Press (Marion Palfi) and Schocken Books (Roman Vishniac). Other émigré photographers who published their work in book form were Ylla, Lilo Hess, Tim Gidal as well as Ruth Staudinger.

    Word Count: 468

  • Signature Image:
    Cover of 5th Avenue photobook (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
  • Media:
    First page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon, 1947) by Fred Stein.
    Last page of 5th Avenue (Pantheon Books, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Cover of the French edition 5th Avenue (Querido, 1947) by Fred Stein (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Mixed articles and reviews on 5th Avenue photobook form Fred Stein's scrapbook (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Page from Fred Stein’s scrapbook showing Pantheon Books Catalogue (Fall 1946, Spring 1947), which includes 5th Avenue (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Portrait of Fritz H. Landshoff (of Querido Publishing House) by Fred Stein, 1944 (© Fred Stein Archive).
    Portrait of Kurt Wolff (of publishing house Pantheon Books) by Fred Stein, 1959 (© Fred Stein Archive).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Eyes on Paris. Paris im Fotobuch 1890 bis heute, edited by Hans-Michael Koetzle, exh. cat. Haus der Photographie in den Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 2011.

    Fred Stein. Dresden, Paris, New York, edited by Erika Eschebach and Helena Weber, exh. cat. Stadtmuseum Dresden, Dresden, 2018.

    Fred Stein. Paris New York, edited by Dawn Freer, exh. cat. Jewish Museum Berlin, Berlin, 2013.

    Grebe, Stefanie. “Vom Buch an die Wand – Ein Fotobuch als Ausgangsmaterial für eine Fotografieausstellung.” Gedruckte Fotografie. Abbildung, Objekt und mediales Format (Visuelle Kultur. Studien und Materialien, vol. 10), edited by Irene Ziehe and Ulrich Hägele, Waxmann, 2015, pp. 171–183.

    Parr, Martin, and Gerry Badger. The Photobook: A History, vol. 1. Phaidon, 2004.

    Seeber, Ursula, et. al., editors. Exilforschung. Ein internationales Jahrbuch, vol. 22: “Kometen des Geldes” Ökonomie und Exil. edition text + kritik, 2015.

    Stein, Fred. 5th Avenue. 100 Photographs. Pantheon, 1947.

    Ziehe, Irene, and Ulrich Hägele, editors. Gedruckte Fotografie. Abbildung, Objekt und mediales Format (Visuelle Kultur. Studien und Materialien, vol. 10). Waxmann, 2015.

    Word Count: 149

  • Archives and Sources:

    Word Count: 3

  • Author:
    Helene Roth
  • Metropolis:
    New York
  • Entry in process:
  • Helene Roth. "5th Avenue ." METROMOD Archive, 2021,, last modified: 06-05-2021.
  • Fred Stein
    New York

    Always accompanied by his camera, the German émigré photographer Fred Stein discovered New York City during the 1940s and 1950s. His pictures provide an human and multifaceted view of the metropolis.

    Word Count: 31

    Rolf Tietgens
    New York

    Rolf Tietgens was a German émigré photographer who arrived in New York in 1938. Although, in the course of his photographic career, his artistic and surrealist images were published and shown at exhibitions, his work, today, is very little known.

    Word Count: 39

    Henry Rox
    New York

    Henry Rox was a German émigré sculptor and photographer who, in 1938, arrived in New York with his wife, the journalist and art historian Lotte Rox (née Charlotte Fleck), after an initial exile in London. Besides his work as a sculptor, he began creating humorous anthropomorphised fruit and vegetable photographs.

    Word Count: 50

    Manhattan Magic. A collection of eighty-five photographs
    New York

    Manhattan Magic is a photobook which was published in 1937 by the German émigré photographer Mario Bucovich in New York City.

    Word Count: 20

    New York
    New York

    In 1932, after her remigration to Vienna, the Austrian journalist Ann Tizia Leitich published New York, an account of her life and writing experiences started as an emigrant in New York in the 1920s.

    Word Count: 33

    Chinatown U.S.A.
    New York

    Chinatown U.S.A. is a photobook published by the German émigré photographer Elizabeth Coleman in 1946 focusing on American-Chinese communities in New York and San Francisco.

    Word Count: 26

    Pantheon Books
    Publishing House
    New York

    Pantheon Books was a publishing house founded in 1942 by the German émigré Kurt Wolff (1887–1963) and aimed at the exiled European community in New York.

    Word Count: 24

    Querido Inc.
    Publishing House
    New York

    Fritz H. Landshoff’s Querido publishing house was originally an offshoot of Emanuel Querido's Querido Uitgeverij Dutch publishing house in Amsterdam. Querido Verlag was created in 1933 to publish work by German political exiles.

    Word Count: 33

    Alexey Brodovitch
    PhotographerArt DirectorGraphic Designer
    New York

    Alexey Brodovitch was a Belarus-born émigré graphic artist, art director and photographer who, from 1933, worked in New York for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and at the New School for Social Research.

    Word Count: 31

    Marion Palfi
    New York

    Marion Palfi was a German émigré photographer who lived in New York from the 1940s to the 1960s. Her photographic engagement in social and political topics made her name for her use of the camera to draw attention to social injustices.

    Word Count: 41

    Tim Gidal
    PhotographerPublisherArt Historian
    New York

    Tim Gidal was a German-Jewish photographer, publisher and art historian emigrating in 1948 emigrated to New York. Besides his teaching career, he worked as a photojournalist and, along with his wife Sonia Gidal, published youth books.

    Word Count: 35

    Lilo Hess
    New York

    The German émigré Lilo Hess was an animal photographer working for the Museum for Natural History and the Bronx Zoo, as well being a freelance photographer and publisher of children's books.

    Word Count: 31

    New York

    Ylla was an Austrian-born photographer who emigrated to New York in 1941. Specialising in animal photography, she produced not only studio photographs, but also shot outside on urban locations in the metropolis.

    Word Count: 31

    Ann Tizia Leitich
    JournalistAuthorArt Critic
    New York

    Ann Tizia Leitich was an émigré Austrian author, journalist and art critic, who wrote essays, feuilletons and reviews on the American society and women for German and Austrian newspapers.

    Word Count: 29

    Ruth Staudinger
    PhotographerCinematographerArt dealer
    New York

    Very few and only fragmentary details can be found on the German émigré photographer Ruth Staudinger, who emigrated in the mid-1930s to New York City. Her nomadic life was also characterisedd by several changes of name along the way.

    Word Count: 40

    J.J. Augustin Incorporated Publisher
    Publishing House
    New York

    J.J. Augustin was a German publishing house in Glückstadt with a long history, going back to 1632. In 1936 the American branch opened in New York with a large artistic and cultural focus.

    Word Count: 33

    Schocken Books
    Publishing House
    New York

    Schocken Books was a publishing house established in 1945 in New York by the Russian émigré Salman Schocken (1898–1959). It specialised in books on Judaica and Hebrew topics.

    Word Count: 26

    Oceana Publications
    Publishing House
    New York

    Oceana Publications Inc was a publishing house specialising in law and civil rights founded by the British émigré Philip F. Cohen (1911–1998) in 1945.

    Word Count: 22