NYC Parks Employee Finds 3,000 Color Slides Lost Since 1978

NYC Parks Employee Finds 3,000 Color Slides Lost Since 1978

In 1978, a New York newspaper strike put staff photographers out of work for a number of weeks. They probably didn’t know the images they created during that period would become a time capsule just waiting to be found. And it was found six months ago.

At least eight of these photographers – including Neal Boenzi, Joyce Dopkeen (the first female photographer hired at the Times), D. Gorton, Eddie Hausner, Paul Hosefros, Bob Klein, Larry Morris, and Gary Settle – spent the summer exploring city parks in all five boroughs of New York City, documenting the life that was happening there.

In late 2017, a parks official found two cardboard boxes containing 2,924 color slides that had not been seen or appreciated in forty years. And what a find it was.

Stroll through these images and you’ll see a little of everything. Cats on bicycles, 1970s bathing suits, pigs roasting over beds of coals. You see life unfiltered, un-Instagrammed, seemingly un-everything. Unchanged, and just plain unreal.

This is, of course, yet another testament to the enduring power of photography, and of how vital photographers are to the documentation of our lives. Keep on creating those time capsules, folks. It’s important.

An exhibit of about 65 of the images will be on display at the Arsenal Gallery at Central Park from May 3 to June 14.

Images used with permission of the NYC Parks Press Office.

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I can't understand the colors, they're so pretty! how can we achieve those colors in digital?

Matt Rennells's picture

Kodachrome was a magical thing.

Fotostudio Belichtungswert's picture

It is not only about KODAK or AGFA. What you see is the interaction of colors and open aperture.

You could use a LUT creator program - it can do the heavy lifting of matching color

lee arthur's picture

Wish the article would have provided more detail. If these negatives belonged to the newspaper, how did the park employees find them? Where did they find them? "Inquiring minds want to know."

I was thinking the same thing. I'm hoping that after the show closes on June 14 more of this information gets out. I want to see all the photos and hear even more!

Robby MacGillivray's picture

My kind of history - I can imagine any of these appearing in 'Life Magazine'

Paulo Macedo's picture

One thing i know for sure, from the small sample here, these look amazing! The colors, exposure, composing...dang!!

Vincent Morretino's picture

What a wondeful find! I hope they are eventually available in their entirety online, I'd love to see every single photo.

dale clark's picture

Thanks for posting.

I have lost about 900 photo slides in Queens, NY during Summer of 1974.. They were in a briefcase in my car. The thieves broke into my car and stole that briefcase. Since then I have not found my slides. The slides include my Europe Trip, My wedding and Our honeymoon.. PLEASE reply if anyone knows about my precious slides. Thanks.