Biographical/historical: Photographer Sy Friedman (Seymour) was born February 23, 1919. With Leo Friedman and Joseph Abeles, he was part of the Friedman-Abeles Studio, preeminent photographers of theater productions from circa 1954 to 1970. Sy Friedman died in 1985.
Content: The collection documents the work of theater photographer Sy Friedman, 1958-1981 (bulk dates 1972-1981). It contains mostly black and white prints, contact sheets and negatives, but also some color slides and negatives of over 60 Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions, as well as productions that closed out of town.
There are production and publicity photographs of original and replacement casts and tours. A number of Friedman's assignments were for the Public Theater, both downtown and at Lincoln Center.
Productions well-represented in the collection are Candide (1974), Deathtrap (1978), Grease (1972), My Fair Lady (20th Anniversary revival 1976), The Prince of Grand Street (1978), The Ritz (1974), and Shenandoah (1974). The Tony Awards (1976-1978) and related events are also included.
Claudette Colbert, Michael Moriarty, Joseph Papp with Thomas Babe, John Ford Noonan, Miguel Pinero, Dennis Reardon, Michael Weller, and Neil Simon are among the personalities photographed by Friedman.
His commercial photography includes a series for U.S. Rubber and screen shots of a Gloria Vandebilt for Murjani Jeans television commercial, that was used in a New York Times story, and photos for Warner Cable Communications.