Through a Different Lens

Stanley Kubrick Photographs

May 3, 2018 - January 6, 2019

Taken in a mirror’s reflection, a woman uses a compact mirror to apply makeup, while photographer stands behind her watching

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Explore a formative phase in the career of one of the 20th century’s most renowned motion picture directors.

Stanley Kubrick was just 17 when he sold his first photograph to the pictorial magazine Look in 1945. In his photographs, many unpublished, Kubrick trained the camera on his native city, drawing inspiration from the nightclubs, street scenes, and sporting events that made up his first assignments, and capturing the pathos of ordinary life with a sophistication that belied his young age. Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs features more than 120 photographs by Kubrick from the Museum’s Look magazine archive, along with vintage Look magazines in which many of the photographs were published. Through a Different Lens evokes the grit, glamor, and resilience of New York City, while telling the story of how a young amateur photographer from the Bronx took his first steps toward becoming one of the most important and influential film directors of the twentieth century.



PROSPECTUS: (full-spread) (pages)

Press Release



  • Museum of the City of New York, New York: May 2, 2018 – January 6, 2018
  • Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles: October 17, 2019 – March 8, 2020
  • Musée des Beaux-arts Le Locle, Switzerland: October 23, 2020 – January 31, 2021
  • Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland: April 29, 2021 – August 20, 2021
  • Maggazino delle Idee, Trieste, Italy: October 2, 2021 – January 14, 2022
  • Fundação D. Luís I, Cascais, Portugal: February 26, 2022 – May 22, 2022


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Stanley Kubrick for "Look" Magazine. "Rosemary Williams, Show Girl," 1949. Courtesy of SK Film Archives/Museum of the City of New York.






Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs is made possible in part by Ann G. Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, Nancy and Mitchell Steir, The Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation, The Andrew and Marina Lewin Foundation, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, Daryl Brown Uber/William E. Weiss Foundation, and George A. Kellner.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of the City of New York in collaboration with SK Film Archives LLC.

In-Depth Stories

City Arts Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Riding the Subway with Stanley Kubrick

As most New Yorkers know, the subway system is the lifeline of New York City. In 1946, Stanley Kubrick set out to capture the story of New York City’s subway commuters.

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