The greatest discoveries may be right under your nose. This was the case for Soren Larson who found a box of negatives that had been forgotten for over 45 years containing mesmerizing images left by his grandfather, Frank Larson. Few neophyte photographers could capture moments suffused with as much grit and vitality. The vintage photographs feature New Yorkers from all walks of life in an era that was defined by Marilyn Monroe, Levittown, the Cold War and the Baby Boom. You can feel the energy of these Americans emanating from beyond the confines of each frame, inviting you into their everyday slice of life. The son of Swedish immigrants from the 1890s, Frank Larson had many creative outlets from his stressful job as an auditor for the Empire Trust Company in Manhattan during the '40s and '50s. These included wood carving, the violin and amateur photography. Larson developed his photos in his basement darkroom, and even won amateur photography competitions. Little did he know that fame would arrive posthumously. An extensive collection of Larson's black and white photos are now under the care and on display at the Queens Museum of Art. After Frank passed away in 1964, his widow Eleanora boxed all of their belongings and moved them to storage. It wasn't until 50 years later when Soren and his mother Carol, the widow of Frank's youngest son David, came across an unassuming box in the attic. Its contents included 100 labeled envelopes containing medium-format 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" negatives. Soren describes his delight at the discovery:
"As I began unsealing each packet and holding the negatives up to the light, it was like a trip back in time, back to the New York of the early '50s." "I had seen a few examples of my grandfather's photography over the years and always admired them – our old family photo albums have a few small prints of his work in them. My father also used to speak with admiration about his father's love of photography and his weekend trips with his Rolleiflex into the city to film places like the Bowery, Chinatown and Times Square."Watch the history and diversity of the Big Apple unfold through the eyes of a gifted photographer. Larson will make you fall in love with the city all over again.