Moveable Feast: Fresh Produce and the NYC Green Cart Program features the work of photographers who have turned their lenses on city neighborhoods where there is little access to nutritious food, documenting street scenes and urban environments. The exhibition also reveals a new, important use for a nearly ubiquitous and historic urban icon: the pushcart. Moveable Feast is organized by the Museum of the City of New York in conjunction with Aperture Foundation, with support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
Aperture Foundation asked 5 emerging photographers to undertake the NYC Green Cart Commission, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Thomas Holton, Gabriele Stabile, Will Steacy and Shen Wei. As media outlets for this kind of sustained storytelling disappear, this commission is especially important—it supports photography, produces a meaningful archive, and expands public dialogue. Each of the five photographers brought a unique artistic vision and point of view to their mission of documenting the Green Carts, which operate in designated neighborhoods in each of the five boroughs. They photographed the carts themselves, the lives of the vendors, interactions with customers, and the commercial landscapes of the surrounding communities.
A special thanks to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their partnership and support in making the Green Cart Photography Commission and this exhibition possible. Laurie M. Tisch commented, “The New York City Green Cart Initiative brings diverse partners together to help increase access to healthy fruits and vegetables across our city. Green Carts operate at the intersection of public health and urban culture. The Illumination Fund is delighted to help facilitate this inspiring showcase depicting the experience of NYC Green Cart vendors. The work of these emerging photographers celebrates an important NYC program as well as an iconic New York City street symbol.”
Susan Henshaw Jones, the Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum, stated: “We are so pleased to present the work of these artists, most of whom are working in the tradition of street photography and social documentary. The Museum of the City of New York has one of the most important repositories of photographs related to the social history of New York City. These five photographers follow in their footsteps. We are proud to present this exhibition, which helps focus attention on a vitally important civic issue.”
NYC Green Carts is an independently operated mobile fruit and vegetable stand program initiated by the Mayor’s Fund for New York City, the New York City Department of Health, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. The Museum of the City of New York, with substantial and important holdings in the field of New York City photographs—most notably, in this instance, the Jacob Riis archive—jumped at the opportunity to exhibit the photographs in Moveable Feast and will complement the contemporary photographs with images from their historic collection. Several photographs of pushcarts will be exhibited, including an 1895 image by Jacob Riis, entitled “A Vegetable Stand in Mulberry Street Bend with Myself (Jacob A. Riis) in the Picture.”
Exhibition on view through July 10
The Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue