The New York City Fire Museum presents Firehouse: The Photography of Jill Freedman exhibition until April 2, 2023.
Jill Freedman’s stunning collection of images chronicling New York City firemen on the job in the 1970s is on display at the New York City Fire Museum.
The show includes photos from Freedman’s book, Firehouse, which was published in 1977 and received wonderful reviews for its honesty and grit in capturing the danger, sorrow, courage, and friendship of being a fireman in New York City. CNN once described the shots as “images that describe a community of men in their full humanity, heroic but not just heroes. Pictures of terrible danger meet moments of rough tenderness, then all gives way to goofball antics back at the station.”
Freedman spent more than a year living among the firefighters in the Bronx and Harlem, chronicling their work, to create this display of valor and love. She trailed groups for six days at a time, sleeping in cars’ backseats or on the floor between engines.
Jill Freedman was a well-known New York City documentary photographer whose work can be found in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, George Eastman House, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, among others. She has had solo and group exhibitions all around the world, and she has contributed to numerous prestigious journals.
Jill Freedman was best known for her street and documentary photography, recalling the work of André Kertész, W. Eugene Smith, Dorothea Lange, and Cartier-Bresson. She published seven books: Old News: Resurrection City; Circus Days; Firehouse; Street Cops; A Time That Was: Irish Moments; Jill’s Dogs; and Ireland Ever. Jill Freedman lived and worked on the Upper West Side of New York City.