Robert H. McNeill. Make a Wish. 1937

Robert H. McNeill Make a Wish 1937

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 510 The David Geffen Wing

When McNeill received a tip that Fortune magazine was seeking photographs related to domestic workers, he sought out an area where day laborers gathered known as the “Bronx Slave Market.” The pictures ultimately appeared in Flash, a Washington, DC–based “weekly newspicture magazine” geared toward African American audiences. “It was the small things that struck me,” McNeill recalled. “The idea that this woman had come up from the South, maybe was staying with relatives in New York and needed to help pay the rent, and ended up doing what she had known in the South. Or the expression on the white woman’s face, after she offers to pay 15 cents [an hour] and [the other woman] says, ‘Uh-uh, 20 cents is my price.’ I guess the pictures were too strong for Fortune, though, because they were never used.”

Gallery label from 2020
Gelatin silver print
6 3/4 × 8 11/16" (17.1 × 22 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art and Committee on Photography Fund
Object number
© 2021 Heirs of Robert H. McNeill

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].