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Mid-Week Musings: Benjamin Swett, New York City of Trees

Posted by The Sill on

Calling all tree-huggers!

Today is the opening of the photography exhibition New York City of Trees by Benjamin Swett at the Arsenal Gallery Central Park. The exhibition will feature thirty portraits of significant trees - those with stories to tell - from around the five boroughs. Before pursuing freelance photography, Swett worked for the City of New York Parks & Recreation for thirteen years, so it's no surprise to us that his fascination with New York City's urban forest followed him to this new career. 

Common Pear. Woodside, Queens. 2010. 
American Elm. Harlem River Drive, Manhattan. 2003. 
"It is common to talk about how trees improve living conditions in cities by filtering and cooling the air, absorbing excess rainwater, and making neighborhoods more attractive, but little has been said about the equally important role of trees as storehouses of a city’s past. Just as trees remove carbon from the atmosphere and hold it for many years in their woody tissue, so do they sequester the shared experiences of the people who live alongside them." - Benjamin Swett 
Yoshino Cherry. Central Park. 2010. 
English Elm, 58". St. Nicholas Avenue at 163rd Street, Manhattan. 2009. 

Photographs Benjamin Swett 
The Arsenal Gallery Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue at 64th Street, Third Floor
Exhibition March 6 through April 26
Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm (free admission)

Fun Fact: the Arsenal is one of only two buildings that predate Central Park! Designed to resemble a medieval fortress, the building, built around 1850, was a munitions supply depot for New York State's National Guard. 

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