Robert H. McNeill Untitled from the series The Bronx Slave Market 1937

  • Not on view

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 1/8 × 7 15/16" (15.5 × 20.1 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art and Committee on Photography Fund
Object number
© 2023 Heirs of Robert H. McNeill

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