Limelight: a Greenwich Village photography gallery and coffeehouse in the fiftees : a memoir

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University of New Mexico Press, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 303 pages
2 Reviews
In the late 1950s, Limelight was the busiest coffeehouse in New York and the only photography gallery in the country. This is the story of Helen Gee's efforts to open Limelight and her fight to keep it afloat for seven years. The major figures in photography appear in this story -- Edward Steichen, Robert Frank, W. Eugene Smith, Berenice Abbott, and others -- and so do the big events of the period: the opening of The Family of Man, the publication of The Americans. Gee has her own personal stories as well, raising her Asian American daughter alone, dealing with a landlord with underworld ties, bookies who did business in the hall of her apartment house, and coping with unwelcome advances, quixotic employees, and suicidal photographers.

This is also a portrait of a time when Greenwich Village was a center of creative activity, when actors, writers, painters, and photographers were part of a burgeoning coffeehouse scene. Photography as an art form was coming into its own, and Limelight Gallerymade history with some seventy shows. The story of its seven years is amusing and heart-breaking, exciting and surprisingly full of adventure.

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Review: Limelight: A Greenwich Village Photography Gallery and Coffeehouse in the Fifties, a Memoir

User Review  - Kate - Goodreads

Fun read for photo nerds, as well as anyone interested in the NY art scene of the 1950s or the trials and tribulations of starting and running a business. Read full review

Review: Limelight: A Greenwich Village Photography Gallery and Coffeehouse in the Fifties, a Memoir

User Review  - vanessa - Goodreads

Written in an effortless style, this book is a must-read for any fan of photography who wasn't there to hang out with Robert Frank and the like in 1950's Greenwich Village. Limelight was the first ... Read full review

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About the author (1997)

Helen Gee has been an art consultant and a freelance curator. She still lives in New York.

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