How An Exhibit Is Born

Crime Scene Photo Taken Inside A Tenement
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Note The Decor, Ignore the Dead Body
The New York Police Department took this photo of an unidentified apartment around 1918. Avert your eyes from the unfortunate soul sprawled on the ground, and you’ll begin to see many interesting details.

Note the gas line hanging from the ceiling, and how the family decorated the walls and the mantle piece. See the dresser in the middle of the picture, above the murder victim? A similar one is exhibited in the Rogarshevsky apartment.

Visual records like this one help us understand how working class New Yorkers would have decorated and furnished their homes.