“Through a Different Lens” Looks Back at Stanley Kubrick’s Early Years as a Photographer

Stanley Kubrick may be best known for his work as a motion picture director, but an ongoing exhibit in New York City reminds us that he was also an outstanding photographer.

Before he became an acclaimed film director and New York City’s most famous sons, Stanley Kubrick was first a photographer with an exceptional creative vision. He was just 17 when he sold his first photograph in 1945 to pictorial magazine Look. To remind us of this fruitful period in Kubrick’s life as a visionary, the Museum of the City of New York showcases his photographs in a newly opened exhibit.

Titled “Through a Different Lens,” the exhibit puts together over 120 photographs by Kubrick taken from the Museum’s Look Magazine archive. Five years as a staff photographer, 129 photography assignments, and more than 12,000 negatives — those are definitely the stuff that fascinating photography exhibits are made of, and one that Kubrick fans should definitely not miss.

To help paint a picture of how Kubrick’s photography career shaped his creative vision as one of history’s iconic film directors, serious Kubrick fan Alec Baldwin sat down with exhibit curators Donald Albrecht and Sean Corcoran for the short intro video below. There, we get a preview of the exhibit (including some never before seen photos) and some insights about Kubrick’s beginnings in photography, and how it trained his eye for low camera angles, dramatic lighting, and less of the noir style that was famous at the time.

Interested in learning more about Stanley Kubrick the Photographer? “Through a Different Lens” runs through October 28th, so make sure to mark your calendars and plan your visit to the Museum of the City of New York. Visit mcny.org for more information and grab your tickets.

Screenshot image from the video by the Museum of the City of New York