Stanley Kubrick New Exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York – Debuts Thursday, May 3

Through a Different Lens:  

Stanley Kubrick Photographs at the Museum of the City of New York
Revelatory Exhibition Explores the Acclaimed Director’s Formative Years as a Staff Photographer 

at Look Magazine Between 1945-1950 

Revealing His Creative Transformation from 

Photojournalist to Film Icon


ON VIEW: Thursday, May 3, 2018 – October, 2018



(New York, NY) On Thursday, May 3, 2018, the Museum of the City of New York will open

Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs, a photography exhibition exploring the iconic director’s formative years as a staff photographer at Look magazine between 1945-1950 and revealing the foundations of his creative transformation from photojournalist to cinematic legend. In May, TASCHEN will publish a 300-page large format book to accompany the exhibition.


Stanley Kubrick’s early career as a photojournalist for Look magazine is a revelation for most people who know him as a filmmaker. In 1945, the future director of such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange was just a teenager – but one with an uncanny photographic sensibility, who was already scouting human-interest stories for Look magazine.


Turning his camera on his native city, Kubrick found inspiration in New York’s characters and settings, sometimes glamorous, sometimes gritty. He produced work that was far ahead of his time and focused on themes that would inspire him through his creative life. Most importantly, his photography laid the technical and aesthetic foundations for his cinematography: he learned through the camera’s lens to be an acute observer of human interactions and to tell stories through images in dynamic narrative sequences. Kubrick’s early years at Look proved to be the start of his celebrated career as one of the 20th century’s great artists – a time when he honed his skills as both a storyteller and an image maker, albeit through a different lens.


Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs tells the story of how a 17-year old amateur photographer from the Bronx took the first steps towards becoming one of the most important film directors of the 20th century. The exhibition will display over 120 photographs by Kubrick from the Museum’s extensive Look magazine archive, all captured during his tenure as a staff photographer between 1945 and 1950. In his photographs, many unpublished, Kubrick explored the grit and glamor of the city, turning his lens on the nightclubs, street scenes, and sporting events that made up his first assignments, and capturing the pathos of ordinary life with a sophistication that belied his young age.


Through a Different Lens first introduces visitors to key themes that shaped Kubrick’s early work as a photographer and would pop up time and again throughout his career. The show then proceeds chronologically through his time at Look magazine with assignments published and unpublished, framing Kubrick as an artist investigating the powerful narrative capabilities of photography and showcasing his aptitude for translating an individual’s complex life into visual form. The exhibition culminates with an examination of the direct connection between Kubrick the photographer and Kubrick the director.


Towards the end of his tenure at Look, Kubrick shot two feature layouts for the magazine covering the boxers Rocky Graziano and Walter Cartier. Kubrick later made Cartier the subject of his first film, The Day of the Fight. The photographic work for Look became the storyboard for the film, enabling Kubrick to work out the scenes, camera angles, framing, and lighting. Kubrick maintained this practice of storyboarding from photographs throughout his life.


During this period at Look, Stanley Kubrick made his transition from photographer to filmmaker in ways both indirect and direct. Through a Different Lens explores this lesser-known but foundational part of his career and illuminates the connections between his time as a young photojournalist in New York City and the legendary director he is remembered as today.


Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs is made possible in part by Ann G. Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, The Andrew and Marina Lewin Foundation, and George A. Kellner.


About the Museum of the City of New York


Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, the Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections. To connect with the Museum on social media, follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @MuseumofCityNY and visit our Facebook page at For more information please visit




Media Contacts

Jacob Tugendrajch                                                 (917) 492-3480 |

Lisa Sherman Cohen                                              (347) 539-7382 |


New York Jewish Guide