A 17-year-old Stanley Kubrick captures 1940s New York City

Candid, unseen imagery from the cult director.

[“][I]f it can be written, or thought, it can be filmed,” according to Stanley Kubrick. After raising $1000 to make his first feature film in 1953, Kubrick’s genre-bending classics from sci-fi epics (2001: A Space Odyssey), pyscho-thrillers (The Shining) to character-driven dramas (Eyes Wide Shut) are seared into our collective cinematic conscience.

Before he made it big in Hollywood, Kubrick worked as a photographer for LOOK magazine, which he joined in 1945. Then aged 17, the aspiring image-maker shot humanist slice-of-life features that celebrated and exposed New York City and its inhabitants. A new book, Stanley Kubrick Photographs, Through a Different Lens, presents around 300 images – many previously unseen until now – from this coming-of-age period. From a trip to the circus to lovers on a train, here’s a day in the life of 1940s NYC through Stanley Kubrick’s eyes…

Stanley Kubrick Photographs, Through a Different Lens, published by TASCHEN, is out 17th May. 


Stanley Kubrick / from “Rosemary Williams - Showgirl,” 1948.

Stanley Kubrick / Stanley Kubrick with Faye Emerson from “Faye Emerson: Young Lady in a Hurry,” 1950

Stanley Kubrick / from “Life and Love on the New York City Subway,” 1947

Stanley Kubrick: a partygoer wearing a Cubist headdress, from the 1949 article titled “Philadelphia’s First Beaux Arts Ball”

Stanley Kubrick / from “Park Benches: Love is Everywhere,” 1946