Coney Island Teenagers – 1949
Celebrating the Work and Wisdom
June 15 – July 10
Opening reception June 18, 12 – 6pm
25L Inn Street – downtown Newburyport
Light refreshments will be served
Harold Feinstein began his career in photography in 1946 at the age of 15 and within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He joined the Photo League at 17 and became a prominent figure in the vanguard of the early New York City street photography scene. He exhibited at Helen Gee’s Limelight Gallery and was a designer for historic Blue Note Records. He was one of the original inhabitants of the legendary “Jazz Loft,” which he later turned over to his long-time collaborator and colleague W. Eugene Smith. Their association prompted this statement from Smith: “He is one of the very few photographers I have known, or have been influenced by, with the ability to reveal the familiar to me in a beautifully new, in a strong and honest way.”
When he passed away in June 2015, the New York Times declared him “one of the most accomplished recorders of the American experience.” The Boston Globe said: “He saw more than most. Though critics began applying the phrase ‘master photographer’ to Mr. Feinstein when he was only in his 20s, he might have argued that his true mastery lay in his approach to life, as expressed through the camera in his hands.” In her renowned photography blog What Will You Remember?, Elin Spring, commented: “Feinstein had a genius for guiding us to the beauty in others in the same gifted way that Diane Arbus made us aware of their flaws or Garry Winograd conveyed satire. To me, Feinstein’s great legacy will be his generous and touching reflection of our best selves.”
His work is owned by museums worldwide including The Museum of Modern Art, The International Center for Photography, The George Eastman House, The Museum of the City of New York, and over two dozen others. Currently two documentaries are in progress about his life. This year retrospectives are exhibiting in Europe and the U.S.
In addition to the exhibition, a special event will take place in the
Firehouse Performing Arts Center
on June 29th.
Unwrapping the Gift of Life:
Celebrating the Work and Wisdom of Photographer, Harold Feinstein
Presenters: Sarah Kennel, photography curator, Peabody Essex Museum,
Tony Decaneas, Decaneas Archive, Elin Spring, writer of renowned photography blog,
Photography Trust and Feinstein’s wife.
There will be a raffle at the event for a matted and framed archival, limited edition fine
art poster, of Feinstein’s iconic Coney Island Teenagers.
(thanks to Digital Silver Imaging for contributing this item)
This event is supported in part by the Firehouse Community Grant Program which grants six
Greater Newburyport non-profit organizations complimentary
use of their historic facility annually.
This event is being coordinated by Greg Nikas (Sweethaven Gallery),
Asia Scudder (Blue Wave Gallery),
with support from the Newburyport Clean Tech Center,
a non profit associated with Chestnut Innovation Center.