Weegee (born Arthur Fellig) (American, b. Poland, 1899-1968)
Max Is Rushing in the Bagels to a Restaurant on Second Avenue for the Morning Trade, c. 1940 Gelatin Silver Print
The Jewish Museum, New York © Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty Images
Weegee was a master at using his sharp, high-contrast images to capture glitzy, dynamic and momentous occasions in all spheres, sometimes capturing the main event, but often focusing on the spectators. The title for this photograph derives from a longer caption, in which Weegee indicates that his encounter with the "bagelman" occurred at six in the morning near the Consolidated Edison Company building on 14th Street.
Calling his protagonist by his first name, Weegee alludes to camaraderie with the workers, with whom he regularly shares the deserted streets in the dead of night and the wee hours of the morning. He captures Max midstep as he looks and moves self-assuredly toward the fleeting glare of the photographer's flash. Although the street is shrouded in blackness and the cement squares on the ground are obscured by enigmatic shadows and grime, Weegee creates a sense of place by hinting at the silhouette of a lamppost in the background.
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