Jan 29, 2020
Jan 29, 2020

Untitled (40046)

Brooklyn Gang

Untitled (40046)


Bruce Davidson

(American, b. 1933)

Gelatin silver print

Paper: 27.9 x 35.6 cm (11 x 14 in.)

Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.680


Did you know?

One of Davidson’s best-known series, Brooklyn Gang was inspired by a news story he read about a teenage gang called the Jokers.


In the 1950s, almost every residential block in New York had a candy store that served as community center, soda fountain, and newsstand, with a pay phone. Helen’s Candy Store was the Jokers’ home away from home. “Helen was like our mother,” recalled gang member Bob Powers. Most of the members were 15 or 16 years old. Over the years, some members died from cirrhosis, drugs, and shootings, but others went on to become police officers, a clerk for the state supreme court, an electrician, a transit worker, a hospital administrator, and a singer.

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