Before his days as a legendary filmmaker, Stanley Kubrick was a talented 17-year-old Bronx teenager who landed a gig as a photographer for Look magazine.
During his five years at Look, Kubrick captured more than 15,000 poetic and powerful images of men and women, of the rich and the poor, all navigating life amid the beauty and tragedy of postwar New York.
In the late 1940s, he was put on what probably seemed like a frivolous assignment at the time: a story eventually called “A Dog’s Life in the Big City.”
The article “remains a surprisingly interesting social study” of what day-to-day life was like mainly for the pooches of the city’s “idle rich,” as one Kubrick biography stated.
Looking at these photos almost 70 years later, it seems that today’s upper-class pet parents spoiled their canines in the more elegant and formal late 1940s the same way they do today.
The first photo shows a little guy relaxing in front of a bakery while his owner reads the paper. Next, a doorman is tasked with walking a boxer.
The third image is captioned, “In the checkroom of New York’s smart 21 Club, four poodles, an Afghan and a camera-conscious Bedlington are cared for while their mistresses lunch.” What was this woman paid for that job?
Pampered Afghans went for a ride in a convertible. Two lucky pooches got treats from the neighborhood butcher.
And homeless dogs ended up at institution-like shelters, seen here. “A lost mutt finds friends who take him to the ASPCA shelter,” the caption reads.
“If owner does not claim him, he will be offered for adoption on payment of license fee.”
[All photos and others from Kubrick’s incredible body of work: MCNY Collections Portal]