In Praise Of Clayton Patterson

In Praise Of Clayton Patterson

Kudos to Lehman Weichselbaum and The Jewish Week for the article about
Clayton Patterson (“Lower Insider,” Feb. 6). We have known each other for more than 30 years and I’ve
always considered him an honorary Jew. Your article reminds me that I wanted
to buy two more sets of his three-volume anthology of “Jews: A People’s
History of the Lower East Side.” Before I could finish the 1,349 page opus, my brother-in-law borrowed the three tomes from me and it is now slowly
making the rounds in my family. I had also promised the rabbi of my
neighborhood synagogue that I was going to donate a set to the Adereth El
library. Thanks for the reminder.

Coincidentally, I am just putting the final polish on a 17-page feature (in two
languages) on Clayton Patterson for a glossy Polish (you heard right)
quarterly magazine. Here is a portion of the introduction to the interview, written by
Alan Kaufman, author of “Jew Boy,” “Drunken Angel” and “Matches”:

“A photographer and videographer, Patterson’s
personal documentation of New York’s Lower
East Side constitutes an unprecedented portrait
of Manhattan’s most culturally important
neighborhood, yet this very same archive now
sits ignored in Clayton’s Outlaw Art Museum, 
and not a single American institution has
stepped forward to house this extraordinary


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