The series of color photos of 1940s New York taken by Charles Cushman startle the visual senses, which are so accustomed to forgetting that the past did not make its way in a black and white world.
When the past is shown in color, it suddenly becomes a thing more like the New York on the street outside this very afternoon, and more relevant to our perceptions of our lives as they are currently lived. And more eerie, because it looks so much like the present.
The New York Times published a number of Cushman’s photos a few days ago, and more can be seen in the online collection of the Indiana University Archives (search for “New York” once you’re on the page).
The one above shows the financial district from an East River pier.