These 24 images are digital scans of 35mm chrome slides that were on exhibition at the N-Y Historical Society in 1998. The Fading Ad Campaign began as a photographic project documenting vintage mural ads on building brickfaces in New York City spanning nearly a century. It has become a metaphor for survival for me since, like myself, many of these ads have long outlived their expected life span. Although this project doesn’t deal directly with HIV/AIDS, it is no accident I’ve chosen to document such a transitory and evanescent subject. Of the hundreds of ads I’ve photographed, many have already been covered up, vandalized, or destroyed. But still many silently cling to the walls of buildings, barely noticed by the rushing passersby.
West 147th Street- Harlem, NYC - taken March, 1997
"For Sun Burn, For Weak Backs, For Stiff Joints, For Sore Muscles, For Athletes. Trial Bottle 10 ¢."
An all-purpose miracle oil. The company was incorporated from February 3, 1870 through April 2, 1924.
Reckitt's Blue 622 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn -taken March, 1997 - Was re-obscured as of 4/2004. "The Purest and Best." Ad circa 1890.
Baby Ruth Candy - Delancey Street, NYC - taken March, 1997 Baby Ruth was developed in 1921 and named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter, who died at the age of twelve. Curtis's Candy of Chicago [1921-1964] sold Baby Ruth to Standard Brands when they dissolved, then bought by Nabisco, and in 1990, the candy bar was acquired by the Nestle Food Corp. Ad circa 1930.
Zaccaro Real Estate/Bendix Home Laundry Pentimento Kenmare & Elizabeth Streets, NYC - taken March, 1997 - Many murals have been painted over other, older murals. As they fade over time, you can see multiple ads superimposed on one another, like an oil painting pentimento.
Diana Coal Oil: Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn - taken March, 1997 - Incorporated from December 7, 1955 through March 25, 1981.
Weber & Heilbroner - Garment District, NYC - taken April, 1997
Miss Weber Millinery - Flatiron, NYC - taken March, 1997
Bob Pins Fresco - Midtown, NYC - taken August, 1997
Fletcher's Castoria - Chinatown, NYC - taken March, 1997 "Children cry for Fletcher's."
Seely Shoulder Shapes - Midtown, NYC - taken March, 1997 -Incorporated from November 17, 1953 through December 15, 1959.
Jewish Shoe Factory - Williamsburgh, Brooklyn - taken August, 1997
Suzy Perette's Dresses - Garment District, NYC - taken March, 1997 "Gigi Young originals."
Carriages, Coupes, & Hansoms/Victoria's Light Wagons- Horses Taken in Board by the Month - Chelsea, NYC - taken August, 1997 and November 1999. Ad circa 1870.
Hams & Capocolli / Wallabout Provisions Co. - Brooklyn Navy Yard - taken September, 1997. Incorporated from July 28, 1925 through October 31, 1933.
M. Rappoport's Music Store - Jamaica Avenue, Queens - taken August, 1997. "4109 Jamaica Ave. near Woodhaven Ave."
J.A. Keal's Carriage Manufactory & Repair 47th & Broadway, NYC - taken April, 1998. Ad circa 1877.
Thread Mills - East Houston Street, NYC - taken March, 1997. "Manufacturers of sewing thread, cotton, nylon, synthetics."
R.H. Macy's Uptown Stables - West 148th Street, Harlem - taken March, 1997. "Orders for goods taken here."
42nd Street/The World's Greatest Movie Center - Selwyn Theater, 42nd Street, NYC - taken April, 1997. "Cooped up? Feelin' low? Enjoy a movie today."
Coca-Cola & Mecca Smokes Pentimento - Bleecker Street, NYC - taken April, 1997. Ad circa 1910.
Uneeda Biscuit - Malcolm X Blvd., Brooklyn - taken July, 1998
Oil Heats Best - Bronx, NYC - taken May, 1997. Circa 1950's
Sweet & Low- the Perfect Sugar Substitute - In back of the Cumberland Packing Company - circa 1950's. Brooklyn Navy Yard- taken May, 1997
Syrup of Figs - Greenpoint Ave., Brooklyn- taken March, 1998. Ad circa 1900.