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Elaine Mayes
New York City
gelatin silver print
Image: 10 9/16 × 15 7/8 inches (26.8 × 40.3 cm)Matted: 20 × 24 inches (50.8 × 61 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Helen Levitt.
Accession Number
“See with your eyes, your heart and your mind. Pay attention to what you see. Learn to see more than you already see. Try to identify your own personal visual interest and pursue it.”
̶ Elaine Mayes

Elaine Mayes has had a long career as a photographer and a professor of photography, teaching at The University of Minnesota, Hampshire College, Pratt Institute, Bard College, ICP and most recently NYU, Tisch School of Arts where she is now Professor Emerita. Her desire to be a photographer aligned with her decision to experience the world outside of her art studio. She famously photographed many rock ‘n’ roll musicians when she lived in San Francisco, leading to several iconic photographs.

This photograph of New York City captures a stormy evening from the top of a building. It reveals her notion that the best photographs come from paying attention to the world and what is constantly going on around us.