Street photography is generally thought to have come about in the late 1950's, right here in New York, when a new generation of photographers (Robert Frank and William Klein) changed the nature of documentary photography. Now, through June, you can check out New York street photography from the 1960's and 70's - at the New York Public Library. From the NYPL's site:
Photographs of the street are as old as photography itself. The earliest practitioners set cameras on balconies or aimed them out of windows, taking advantage of natural light to capture the life in the streets below. As cameras became smaller and more portable, photographers took them into the streets and created a type of photography—by turns casually spontaneous or carefully staged, documentary in nature or seemingly without subject—as diverse as the streets themselves. In this sense, the term “street photography,” which is now used to describe photographs taken in any public space, is as broad as the categories of landscape or portrait photography.
Now through June 24th // The New York Public Library Humanities and Social Sciences Library Stokes Gallery, Third Floor