I recently visited the International Center of Photography. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you enjoy photography and a bit of history you may want to check it out. Some reading is required and there are many small photo reels, so definitely bring your glasses if you wear them.
The ground level floor of the center contained pictures from the Spanish Civil War. What I liked about the exhibit was that the succession of pictures told a story like a history book. (The photograph on the left of the woman breast feeding her baby during a political speech is a famous shot by David Seymour.)
The bottom floor contained pictures from the Cuban Revolution beginning in the late 1950s with focus on Che Guevara. I liked the Cuban Revolution exhibit more than the Spanish Civil War exhibit because photographs were used more as an artistic form of political speech. Many solo shots of Che were featured because his face became a symbol of his beliefs.
The International Center
of Photography has rotating exhibitions which is a great way to get people to return. There is one exhibit in particular that I would love to see, the Avedon Fashion traveling exhibit. It’s currently at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts until mid-January 2011. If it came back to the NYC Center I’d definitely return to check out the post-WWII era fashion photography by Richard Avedon. (One of his 1967 photographs is featured on the left.)
The International Center of Photography is a different experience than going to a museum, but I enjoyed it. I’d just recommend looking at the list of current and upcoming exhibits so you can visit when the exhibits that are of most interest to you are on display.