Asylums, Buffalo State Hospital, Buffalo NY; 2009CP25.026
Textiles, S&D Spinning Mill, Millbury, MA; 2015CP20.494
Boston Valley Terra Cotta, Corbin Building, New York NY; 2015CP21.512
Artist's Live-Work Loft, Brooklyn NY, Architect: BW Architects; 2012CP43.401
Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute, Pittsburgh PA; 2015CP19.412
United States Courthouse & Post Office Restoration construction, Brooklyn NY; 2014CP40.416
Steinway & Sons Piano Factory, Astoria NY; 2016CP05.410
Christopher Payne

“I use photography to reveal the narrative of how things are designed, assembled, and work, whether the subject is a machine, building or community.”

Christopher Payne was trained as an architect, but traded his pencil for a camera to pursue his love of photography and the built form. He is the author of several books: New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway, Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals, and North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City.

Chris divides his time between commercial assignments and personal projects, and his current work celebrates the lost art of craftsmanship and manufacturing in the United States. In progress is a series about the American textile industry, and soon to be published is Making Steinway: An American Workplace, a tour through the famous Steinway piano factory in Queens.

Payne has been awarded grants from the Graham Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, and The New York Foundation for the Arts. His work has been featured in publications around the world and several times in The New York Times Magazine. His large format, limited edition prints are available through the Benrubi Gallery.

University of Pennsylvania, M. Arch., 1996
Columbia University, B.A. in Arch., 1990

2012 - New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Grant
2010 - New England Book Show Award
2010 - Ken Book Award
2008 - New York Foundation for the Arts, Photography Fellowship
2003 - New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Grant
1999 - New York State Council on the Arts, Individual Artist Grant
1999 - Graham Foundation Grant, Individual Artist Grant

North Brother Island: The Last Unknown Place in New York City (Fordham University Press, 2014)
Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals (MIT Press, 2009)
New York’s Forgotten Substations: The Power Behind the Subway (Princeton Architectural Press, 2002)

2015 - Asylum, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA
2014 - One Steinway Place, Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014 - Asylum, Wood County Historical Museum, Bowling Green, OH
2014 - Inside Steinway, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
2013 - White, Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, Netherlands (group exhibition)
2012 -* Asylum*, Het Dolhuys, Haarlem, Netherlands
2012 - One Steinway Place, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, NY
2012 - Asylum, Museum Dr. Guislain, Gent, Belgium
2011 - Asylum, La Chambre, Strasbourg, France
2011 - Asylum, Pearlstein Gallery, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
2011 - Picture Books, Clark Gallery, Lincoln, MA (group exhibition)
2011 - Asylum, Elmaleh Gallery, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
2011 - Asylum, Martin Art Gallery, Muhlenberg College, Muhlenberg, PA
2010 - Asylum, Kennedy Museum of Art, Ohio University, Athens, OH
2010 - Summer Place, Bonni Benrubi Gallery, New York, NY (group exhibition)
2010 - Asylum, Clic Gallery, New York, NY
2005 - Changing Tides, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, New York, NY: (group show)
2003 - New York’s Forgotten Substations, New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY
2001 - New York’s Forgotten Substations, Municipal Arts Society, New York, NY

2015 - Atlas Obscura - Inside the Colorful, Hypnotic World of Textile Mills
2015 - Vanity Fair - See the Abandoned and Inaccessible Island Where Typhoid Mary Died
2015 - Planches Contacts 02 - Asylum
2015 -* WIRED* - The Weird Tech and Brilliant Colors of the American Textile Mill
2015 - Boston Globe - Asylums abandoned, bodies unconstrained
2015 - Feature Shoot - Interview
2014 - The John Adams Institute - Interview
2014 - Design Observer - The Last Unknown Place in New York
2014 - The New York Times - Lonely Island
2014 -* Petapixel* - North Brother Island
2014 - Smithsonian - Exploring New York City’s Abandoned Island
2014 - Slate - The Mysterious New York City Island You’ve Never Heard Of
2014 - Curbed - Payne Uncovers Disappearing Places
2014 - FStoppers - New York City’s Mysterious Neighbor
2014 - Gizmodo - Exploring the Decaying Ruins of North Brother Island
2014 - Untapped Cities - North Brother Island Book Review
2014 - The New York Times Magazine - Isle of No Man
2014 - Mail Online - Still Made in the USA
2014 - Gizmodo - Inside the Colorful Chaos of America’s Aging Textile Mills
2014 - My Modern Met - Former Architect Shows Untold Beauty Inside America’s Textile Industry
2014 - The New York Times Magazine - Fruits of the Loom

2015 - LOOK3 Photo Festival - Textiles: Made in USA
2014 - WNET Channel 13 - Metrofocus
2014 - BBC News - Interview


After years of trying to gain access, Christopher Payne and The New Yorker traveled inside New York City’s Verizon Building, which is adjacent to the World Trade Center, to document the end of copper landlines. “The building, erected in the twenties ...more
Christopher photographed the Washington Post for New York Magazine, last month. You can read about Jeff Bezos latest publishing venture and see inside the newsroom online or in print, in the June 27, 2016 issue. more
Join Christopher Payne as he discusses his new book, Making Steinway: An American Workplace. Payne photographed the Steinway & Sons piano factory in Astoria, Queens over the course of several years. Thursday, June 16 at Steinway Hall 6:00 p.m. Author Presentation and Q&A 7:00 ...more
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