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65 years of photographing

All about love: New photos from The Harold Feinstein Archive for Valentine’s Day 2024 - by Judith Thompson

It’s Valentine’s Day and I wanted to put out a short post sharing a few new images from the studio that share the way the Harold saw and honored love. It the primary impetus behind all of his work. Here is a 35 second audio clip where he talks about seeing with the eyes of… Continue reading

Fatherly Inheritances: Father’s Day 2021 - by Judith Thompson

If you’ve seen the film Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein,  you will know that Harold’s relationship with his own father was a difficult one. Louis Feinstein suffered from alcoholism and Harold often spoke about the fear he felt around him, the beatings and druken rages.  It was a huge… Continue reading

What to remember: Reflections on Memorial Day 2021 - by Judith Thompson

Unquestionably war has touched us all. Every single person, no matter who they are or where they live, has been touched by war. Scars from the traumas of war are passed down throughout generations and layered with new scars  as the self-perpetuating cycles of war and violence continue to be fueled partly by the unhealed… Continue reading

Different kinds of war: Reflections on Memorial Day 2020 - by Judith Thompson

As I looked through Harold’s Draftee series for some appropriate photographs to share on this 2020 Memorial Day observance,  the irony of the one above did not escape me. This GI is getting inoculated in both arms as a way to prepare for the war overseas. Harold went off to Korea in 1952. Approximately 35,000… Continue reading

Prints and printmaking, part 2: The allure of the darkroom - by Judith Thompson

  It seems appropriate to publish this second post in the series on Prints and Printmaking shortly after the Kodakery podcast, The Life and Work of Harold Feinstein with Andy Dunn and Carrie Scott published two weeks ago. After all, when Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012,  the notion that a new film camera might enter… Continue reading

“They were all missing someone”: Harold Feinstein’s Korean photographs, Veteran’s Day 2019 - by Judith Thompson

Harold was drafted into the infantry and sent off to Korea when he was 22 years old.  He had a new wife, had sold prints to Steichen at MOMA and was just getting into his stride as an up and coming young photographer in the heady days of the early 50’s in New York.  And then he was yanked into the draft and sent off to Korea.

“It’ll always be the first kiss”: Memories for Valentine’s Day 2019 - by Judith Thompson

Harold liked to say:  “It will always be the first kiss” when he talked about his love of life. I was blessed with a 27 year marriage to someone who never let me forget how much he loved me; who maintained a consistent  appreciation of life — and of me! As he got older, he… Continue reading

Coney Island: All colors and every language under the sun! - by Judith Thompson

“When people come to this country and they see the Statue of Liberty, I think there should be a sign there that says ‘Come with me to Coney Island first!’  Because whatever New York is to the United States, Coney Island is to New York. It’s a multitude of all colors and every language under… Continue reading

W. Eugene Smith, Ed Thompson and the battle for creative control: A play in multiple acts - by Judith Thompson

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances. And one man in his time plays many parts.” William Shakespeare, from “As you Like It” Several months ago I received a few emails from friends pointing me to a highly entertaining blogpost written by… Continue reading

“Celebrating Feinstein’s Lasting Impression! “: From the Boston Globe - by Judith Thompson

“At this particular moment, there’s something important about looking at those [Coney Island] pictures. They show such a wonderful mix of people, different classes, ages, and races coming together. At some level, that seems to be missing from American culture at this moment.” So says Sarah Kennel, photography curator at the Peabody Essex Museum who… Continue reading

The 2016 season opens at Coney Island: 100 free rides on the Cyclone! - by Judith Thompson

Last Saturday, March 26th, marked opening day for the 2016 Coney Island season and the first 100 people to line up for the Cyclone got a free ride! Harold must’ve been salivating! I’m not sure when his last ride on the Cyclone was, but I bet if he could’ve taken his wheel chair on board,… Continue reading

Making contacts! Old, new and in-between - by Judith Thompson

I can’t speak with a photographer’s authority about the value of a contact sheet for photographers shooting with film. But I do know from living with Harold that the film contact sheet was his primary tool for editing. And he was editing until the final days of his life! He relished finding images he had… Continue reading

“If this isn’t love, then maybe I’m crazy!” Happy Valentine’s Day 2016! - by Judith Thompson

One of Harold’s favorite expressions was, “If this isn’t love, then maybe I’m crazy!” He often sang the words with a catchy tune. I later discovered that the song was from the Broadway musical Finian’s Rainbow. The original lyrics said: “If this isn’t love, the whole world is crazy”, but Harold’s adaptation was definitely truer… Continue reading

Happy New Year 2016! - by Judith Thompson

We are wishing a wonderful 2016 for all of our friends! For us at the studio, 2015 was a year of tremendous loss with Harold’s passing on the Summer Solstice — June 20th, 2015. For me it was no surprise that he departed on the longest day of the year, for he was a person… Continue reading

The Jazz Loft, The Limelight, The friendship: Harold Feinstein and W. Eugene Smith - by Judith Thompson

I recently discovered the poster above while going through one of the many boxes of ephemera in the studio. I knew about the show at the historic Limelight Gallery, the first of it’s kind photography gallery launched by Helen Gee. However, I hadn’t known that Harold had dedicated his show to Smith. It is just… Continue reading

“Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland” comes to Brooklyn Museum - by Judith Thompson

Harold had wanted to put out a blog post about the Wadsworth Museum’s Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland when it first opened last January, but was unable to at that time. So, when I saw his photograph Teenagers on the beach, (1949) in the New York Times article about the show on Sunday,… Continue reading

Harold and his Leica - by Judith Thompson

I’m headed out to Los Angeles next week to represent Harold at the opening of his show Harold Feinstein’s Coney Island at the Leica Gallery LA. It will be the first show since his passing in June, so I’m eager to be going and hope to see any of our LA friends at the opening… Continue reading

On Fathers and Fatherhood 2015 - by Judith Thompson

Over the years I’ve received some nice comments about my portrayal of men in my photographs. When I was drafted and sent to Korea in 1953, I documented the journey of brotherhood I took with my fellow GIs and was particularly drawn to the expressions of connection between us as young men. It was one… Continue reading