You know, Back in the Day

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The Henry Gregg Gallery, 111 Front Street, Suite 226, presents “Brooklyn Back in the Day,” an exhibition of documentary photographs by six photographers whose careers began and first flourished in Brooklyn. The show runs through June 15.

The exhibition features work by Anthony Almeida, Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy, Peter Essick, Tony Velez, Charles Denson and Tom Callan.

“Brooklyn Back in The Day” is a wide-ranging exhibition which forms a composite portrait of Brooklyn and its neighborhoods from the ’70s through the ’90s and moves easily from early work by Peter Essick, then preparing a graduate thesis, and who since has completed more than 30 features for “National Geographic,” to those of Charles Denson, a lifelong resident of Coney Island whose documentary photography culminated in the book, “Coney Island Lost and Found.”

While many of the photographs on exhibition have not been shown in decades, they constitute an important and even an unprecedented collective document of growth and change. One story is telling: prior to his participation, Peter Bellamy kept his early work in storage where they were rediscovered for the exhibition in a dozen boxes of large format negatives.

Back in the 1970s, Bellamy roamed the streets of Brooklyn shooting portraits on a 4x5 view camera and sending prints to his subjects as thanks, so creating a body of work that captures a side of Brooklyn so often romanticized.

Anthony Almeida spent more than 30 years as a high school photography teacher at Prospect Heights High School. During that time he photographed the surrounding Crown Heights neighborhood documenting its diversity and vibrancy. Anthony is presently engaged with his Everglades global warming project and fine art photography.

Tony Velez is a photography professor at Kean University in New Jersey. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and New York Foundation for the Arts, his work documents the growth of the Hispanic population in Brooklyn.

Tom Callan has spent the better part of 30 years working as a staff photographer for local Brooklyn newspapers.

For more, call 718-408-1090 or visit

Updated 3:46 pm, October 19, 2011
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