William Meyers was born in 1938 in Providence, Rhode Island. He received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania. From 1962 to 1965, during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he served as an Air Intelligence Officer in the United States Navy Reserve, and later joined the staff of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower and Poverty. In the 1990s, after a successful career as a businessman and investor, he turned his attention to photography and pursued his studies at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York. From 2002 to 2008, he regularly wrote photography reviews for The New York Sun, and in 2008 he began writing a regular column as well as feature articles on photography for The Wall Street Journal.
Meyers’ focus is New York City, particularly as a lived city of neighborhoods and working people. In 2008, the New York Public Library acquired a portfolio of prints from Outer Boroughs: New York Beyond Manhattan, and exhibited the prints at the library in 2015. That same year, Outer Boroughs was published as a book by Damiani. Richard Rivera wrote in The New York Journal of Books, “Meyers’ vision of the city’s open spaces is gritty, detailed, and often stark rather than romanticized…His portrayal of the people of New York is full of character, attitude, and generosity of spirit.”
Meyers’ current work, Civics, explores how New Yorkers engage with one another in their communities. Civics includes images of the formal political process, from volunteers and voters to the politicians themselves, and also covers lectures, conferences, protests, demonstrations, charitable activities, and symbolic expressions of civic engagement. Meyers is also at work on a project titled Music New York, which takes as its theme the variety and ubiquity of musical engagement in the city.
Meyers’ work has been featured in The New York Times, The New York Sun, The Observer, and The Guardian, among other publications. He has lectured on photography and served on panels at ICP; the City University of New York; the State University of New York; Long Island University; and the National Foundation for Jewish Culture. His photographs can be found in the collections of the New York Public Library, the New York Historical Society, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Department of Classics, Harvard University, among other institutions.
William Meyers lives and works in New York.