Silk City
Todd R. Darling
archival pigment print, 50" x 40";  $2900
Exhibited at Village West in New Jersey & You - Perfect Together! show

Silk City, part of a series of photographs inspired by William Carlos Williams and his book of poems on Paterson, is a study of how a city shapes man. It also uncovers the essential life many Americans live today in post-industrial America. While I approach this work with the eye of a compassionate photographer examining America, I also connect to this place personally. It's down the hill from where I grew up.

Paterson was founded in 1792 by Alexander Hamilton to be America's manufacturing center because he recognized that in order for America to truly be free she needed to be self sufficient. Grand mills were constructed that were powered by the rushing waters of the falls that dominate the city's landscape. For the next 150 years, Paterson thrived as a manufacturing city that drew immigrants from all over the world.

The silk trade dominated, earning Paterson the nickname the Silk City. Submarines, airplane engines for Wright aeronautics, Colt revolvers, and trains were also produced here. Paterson's story traces the economic trends that shaped America today. Those trends have given rise to our biggest challenges as a society, and left many behind.

"History is the tyranny over the souls of the dead - and so the imagination of the living" - William Carlos Williams, Paterson.

If you are interested in purchasing this work, please contact Todd Darling or visit


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