Maggie Gyllenhaal as Eileen “Candy” Merrell, a Times Square sex worker, in “The Deuce” (courtesy of HBO); Photograph of Times Square by Jane Dickson via MCNY

Presented by our partnership with the Museum of the City of New York

Untapped Cities Insiders, join artist Jane Dickson and Scott Dougan, production designer for The Deuce, for a conversation about what it means to capture the essence of a particularly infamous time and place in the city – and why we find these visions of New York’s gritty and not-so-distant past so alluring today. The conversation will be moderated by Vinson Cunningham of The New Yorker and a book signing will follow.

Although virtually undetectable today, Times Square in the 1970s and ‘80s was the center of the New York sex industry, synonymous with prostitution and pornography. Most recently, the hit HBO series The Deuce, starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, has resurrected the neighborhood’s dark corners and bright lights as it recounts the pioneering moments of the city’s burgeoning sex business. Looking back, artist Jane Dickson was there. Beginning in 1978, Dickson lived, worked, and raised a family on 43rd Street and Eighth Avenue, documenting her chosen “neighborhood” and its denizens in her drawings, paintings, and photography.

DATE: Tuesday, January 29, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

PRICE: FREE for Untapped Cities Insiders! ($15 for the general public)

CAPACITY: 5 guests. Spots allocated on a first come, first served basis. Must be 21 or older.

REGISTRATION: Tuesday, January, 15th 2019 at 12 PM EST

This talk is part of the Museum of the City of New York’s Core Conversations series, which features the city’s most original thinkers as they engage with topics related to MCNY’s New York at Its Core exhibition.

About the Speakers:

  • Jane Dickson is a painter and photographer who documented Times Square from 1978 on. Today, Dickson’s work is represented in more than 30 museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her newest book, Jane Dickson in Times Square, was published in October 2018 by Anthology Editions.
  • Scott Dougan is currently production designer for HBO’s The Deuce. He began his career as a theatrical set designer and, most recently, served as art director for films including Collateral Beauty (2016), Allegiant (2016), and Bridge of Spies (2015), as well as production designer for American Animals (2018) and Monsters and Men (2018).
  • Vinson Cunningham (moderator) joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2016. His writing on books, art, and culture has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Vulture, and McSweeney’s, where he wrote a column called “Field Notes from Gentrified Places.” He previously served as a staff assistant in the Obama Administration.

About The Deuce:

Created by George Pelecanos and David Simon (The Wire, Treme) and starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is a semi-fictional drama series that recounts the launch of the sex trade industry in the heart of New York City’s Times Square. Now in its second season, the series traces the shifting porn business from organized crime-backed parlors to a legitimate, culturally accepted enterprise.


If you are already an Untapped Cities Insider, log in to your account, and sign up for this tour on this page when registration opens on 1/15 at 12 PM EST.

If you are not an Untapped Cities Insider yet, join today and register for this tour on this page when tickets go live on 1/15.

If you don’t see a “Book Now” button on this page, it means you are not logged in as an Untapped Cities Insider and/or registration has not opened yet.

Tickets are limited to one per member, unless the member is an Explorer level member and can bring a guest. Tickets are non transferable and your membership must be active when the tour takes place. Each booking will be verified to ensure each guest is a member. 

Please be courteous of your fellow Insiders – if you are no longer able to make a tour but have ticket(s), let us know at so we can release those spots to other members. We hope you are as excited as we are about this experience and hope you can join us!

See our full list of Untapped Cities Insiders Tours and our upcoming Public Tours.