A look back at Mary Ellen Mark’s best NYC street photography

Acclaimed photographer Mary Ellen Mark died on May 26th in Manhattan—to honor her and her work, we take a look back at her most stunning New York-set shots
By Christina Izzo |
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News of documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark’s passing on Monday, May 26th struck a chord not only in the art and photography worlds (especially to women photographers around the world), or in her native Philadelphia and later home of New York City, but also with anyone who had the honor of experiencing her extensive work, a four-decades–spanning catalogue full of enthusiasm, compassion and sheer will that continued right up until the end (Mark had just completed her 19th book before her death). I had the honor of being photographed by Mark as a trembling high-school senior for her 2012 tome Prom, and I remember being in complete awe of her—her careful hands, those distinctive pigtail braids, her astonishing ability to give as much as her camera took. Look at the street photography she captured during her time in New York—you’ll feel that awe, too. 

Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

1967, Manhattan, Girl jumping over a wall 

Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

1965-69, Manhattan, New York Early Street

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Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

1978, Brooklyn, Jeanette at a carnival

Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

1997, Manhattan, Pride Parade

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2002, Coney Island
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2002, Coney Island

2002, Coney Island
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2002, Coney Island

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2003, September 11
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2003, September 11

2005, Manhattan, Thanksgiving and Santa
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2005, Manhattan, Thanksgiving and Santa

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2008, South Bronx, Dance Group
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2008, South Bronx, Dance Group

2008, Brooklyn, Chilrdren's West Indian Day Parade
Photograph: Mary Ellen Mark

2008, Brooklyn, Chilrdren's West Indian Day Parade

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