Stanley Kubrick

The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels opened a new exhibition last week showcasing photographs from the famous film direct Stanley Kubrick. Well known for his movies like The Shining, Dr Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut, Kubrick spent his early years taking photos of post-war American life in New York City. 

After graduating from high school in 1945, Stanley Kubrick began working for the New York magazine Look, documenting daily life in the city through poignant black and white photos over a period of five years. The exhibition, on loan from the Museum of the City of New York, provides a glimpse into the work that inspired Kubrick’s unique cinematography style. It’s clear from the sequential nature of his photojournalism that he was destined for film.


The two-part exhibition opens with an excerpt from the film Killer’s Kiss, released in 1955, and a series of 130 photos by Kubrick, followed by a selection of works from the collections of the Royal Museum that inspired the artist over the years. Themes range from a traveling circus, a jazz club, life in the New York subway to students at Columbia University. He shows many sides of American society, including a twelve-year-old shoeshine boy and celebrities such as actor Montgomery Clift and boxer Rocky Graziano. The photos on display hint at the themes and inspirations later captured in Kubrick’s films.


The exhibition runs until 1 July. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is open every day from 10am to 5pm. Entrance fee is €8 (€5 for students). In connection with the exhibition, Flagey is holding two concerts highlighting music from Kubrick’s films in May.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts
3 Rue de la Régence, 1000 Brussels
Tel: 02 508 32 11

Images via Brussel Nieuws and the Belgian Tourist Office.

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