The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks.
Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz. Introduction by Michael Bloomberg. Text by Phillip Lopate.
Aperture, New York, 2009. 300 pp., 250 color illustrations, 12x10½".
Hidden pockets of wilderness still exist within the urban environs of New
York City, and in Legacy Joel Meyerowitz invites us to discover them. This
beautiful body of work is the result of a unique commission Meyerowitz
received from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to document
the city’s parks. During the course of this project, Meyerowitz honed in
on the 8,700 acres within the five boroughs of New York City that still exist
in their original pristine state, as well as areas within parks that have been
left to revert to wilderness. In creating this work, Meyerowitz has drawn on
his own childhood memories of a New York that included “green space—
open and wild, alive with rabbits, migratory birds, snakes, frogs and the
occasional skunk—(that) gave me my first sense of the natural world,
its temperament and its seasons, its unpredictability and its mystery.”
Through this rich compendium of images of parks, shorelines and forests,
Meyerowitz’s magnificent project transports the viewer into the heart
of a lush wilderness, while contextualizing these nooks of nature as an
inextricable part of city life today.