The Writing on the Wall Rediscovering New York City's "Ghost Signs" Ben Passikoff, James Trager
A Photographic and Historical Record of the City’s Vanishing Advertisements

As the great city of New York moves, changes, and evolves every day, the few remnants of its past go unnoticed. New York City’s “ghost signs” —advertisements painted across the facades of buildings that date back to the 19th century—are often invisible to the busy New Yorker, but defiantly conspicuous if only we turn our eyes and look upwards. These faded representations of the city’s rich economic and social history are slowly disappearing before our eyes, but not before they were captured by this photographer’s lens.

At the tender age of sixteen, Ben Passikoff roamed around Manhattan with his camera to document these fascinating signs—hand-painted messages written all over the city. This photographic collection features signs painted in the 1800s as well as in the 21st century; signs that advertise funeral homes, meat, and underwear; signs stretched across iconic buildings; and even signs that are no longer legible. Using his photographs as a looking-glass into the past, Passikoff provides insightful commentary on the economic, social, and historical significance of commerce in New York City, and its vanishing ghost signs, now preserved in this photographic record.
TitleThe Writing on the Wall
SubtitleRediscovering New York City's "Ghost Signs"
AuthorBen Passikoff, James Trager
PublisherSkyhorse Publishing
ImprintSkyhorse Publishing
Published19 September 2017
Dimensions8.50 x 9.50in.

“Passionately sought out and photographed…the most exciting visual concept for a book about New York in many a year.” —George Lois, legendary ad man and designer for Esquire

“A quiet unassuming gem of a book that…offers up a procession of memories floating on the surface of the present.” —Benno Schmidt, chairman of the board of CUNY and former president of Yale University

"Ben Passikoff has created an important record of the cultural, social, and commercial development of New York City in the 20th century." —Gerald Protheroe, Ph.D., chairman of the history department at The Browning School
ISBNs: 9781510702943 978-1-5107-0294-3 Title: the writing on the wall category:TRV ISBNs: 9781510702950 978-1-5107-0295-0 Title: the writing on the wall category:TRV 
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