Photo of the Week: Lucille Fornasieri Gold Photographs

Lucille Fornasieri Gold, [Children playing at water fountain], circa 1975, V2008.013.37; Lucille Fornasieri Gold photographs, 2008.013; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Lucille Fornasieri Gold, [Children playing at water fountain], circa 1975, V2008.013.37; Lucille Fornasieri Gold photographs, 2008.013; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The photo of the week by Lucille Fornasieri Gold is one of my favorites from Brooklyn Historical Society’s photography collection. Taken around 1975, it depicts children playing in a water fountain by the Flatbush Avenue entrance to Prospect Park. The wall graffiti and loose garbage on the ground is a reminder of the fiscal crisis that gripped New York City in the 1970s, gutting most city services including the Parks department. It would take another decade before the Prospect Park Alliance, founded in 1987, would take up the cause of restoring the Park.

This photograph comes from the Lucille Fornasieri Gold photographs collection comprised of 93 color and black-and-white photographs taken by Gold between 1968 and 2008. The bulk of the collection is candid street portraits mostly in Brooklyn. Gold started photographing with a Leica camera in 1968, while her children were in school. She would develop and print in the kitchen darkroom of her home in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. When she moved, she lost her darkroom and while her negatives were processed, they remained unprinted for years. Starting in the 1990s, she and her second husband, Jack Gold, scanned the negatives, repaired lost detail due to deterioration using Adobe Photoshop, and printed a curated set of photographs with their home printer. Gold died while visiting her son in New Jersey in April 2016.

She said of her photography: “There is always a movement, a gesture, an interesting or bizarre juxtaposition, a color or combination of colors that create a renewed impulse to see. I engage the social and moral questions, but I don’t try to answer them. Ultimately there are no answers. When I’m photographing I feel the weight of the antecedents, the spirals of time, the evolution of thought and science.”

To see more photographs from this collection, check out this online gallery.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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9 Responses to Photo of the Week: Lucille Fornasieri Gold Photographs

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  6. y8 says:

    It would take another decade before the Prospect Park Alliance, founded in 1987, would take up the cause of restoring the Park.

  7. Anju says:

    Indeed nice post.

  8. happy wheels says:

    Gold started photographing with a Leica camera in 1968, while her children were in school.

  9. Sandra Cantine says:

    If that’s the Flatbush Avenue entrance, then are the children set directly across from the Maon Library, and that’s Union St. in the background?

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