Happy New Year! Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018
As the New Year unfolds, we look back on 2017, which was a year of exciting developments for the Harold Feinstein Photography studio. Beautifully mounted exhibitions in Paris and Istanbul accompanied by significant media attention, a public preview of clips from the up-coming documentary at Photo London, the launch of our YouTube channel with clips from Harold’s teaching tapes, growing social media audiences (please visit us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!) and record print sales! (Thank you to Galerie Thierry Bigaignon, Carrie Scott and Partners and Lumiere).
Next year brings intensive planning for a major touring museum retrospective (more on this to be announced soon), more books, and the launch of the documentary Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein by British film maker Andy Dunn in addition to another show in Paris in September 2018. Below are some photos of a few of our activities throughout this past year. We are grateful to all those who have made this such a super year! The links at the bottom will take you to more detail on these and other events of the year!
The year started off with a bang as Galerie Thierry Bigaignon mounted Harold Feinstein: Contagious Optimism, an incredible exhibition of Harold’s work from the 40’s and 50’s. This coming September he’ll produce another show covering the 60’s-90’s and will be visiting us soon to being organizing that. The exhibition produced record sales! .
From Vogue Magazine’s January issue listing the top 16 must-see exhibitions for 2017!
In May at Photo London, a special preview of clips from the up-coming documentary was well attended and included a panel discussion with commentary from Philippe Garner, Emeritus Director of Photography at Christie’s Auction House.
On May 16th, a 50 print retrospective, including both early black and white and contemporary color work opened at the O’Art Gallery at Odeabank in Istanbul. It was a beautifully produced show in a fantastic space. I was so sorry not to be there. The origins of this show read a bit like a fairy tale. I met Isil Oruk by chance in the small Provencal village of Grimaud in France the year before and learned of her affiliation with the Odeabank Arts program! Several months after our quick meeting she emailed me about doing the show! The universe works in wonderful ways! Harold’s work already had a huge fan base in Turkey due to the advertising campaign that used his image in 2013 and won international awards. ( See: Going for the Gold: Awards come in for Music of the People Campaign). One day I will get there and carry Harold’s greetings to all the great folks in Turkey who have fallen in love with his work! Here is a short video produced by O’Art about the show.
Filmmaker Andy Dunn travelled far and wide this year collecting more stories and archival material for his documentary Last Stop Coney Island: The Life and Photography of Harold Feinstein. Here he is in one of the two dark rooms Harold used several years before he died.
Here is a photo collage of only a few of the people who appear in the film! Many other friends, family, former students, photographers and army buddies appear in the film as well and we’re grateful to them all!
We began going through Harold’s teaching materials this year. It is a daunting and inspiring task! Hundreds of hours of audio and video materials and written pages! My dear friend and housemate, Jason Novak, has been helping me edit and produce short clips from the videotapes for the YouTube Channel, which now has over 30 video clips. Here is one of my favorites! Many more are on the way.
In October, I was delighted to present one of the annual Focus Awards offered by the Griffin Museum of Photography! Harold was honored to receive the Living Legend Award in 2011, and this year one of my favorite organizations received the Spotlight Award, given to an organization that helps to advance the field of photography. The American Photo Archives Group (APAG) and it’s founder Mary Engel, has been an extremely valuable resource for me and hundreds of others who have needed to navigate the often tricky waters of consolidating, maintaining and promoting a photographic archive. It was a well-deserved award for years of tireless effort to create this wonderful resource organization! In addition I was asked to join a team of portfolio reviewers during the Flashpoint Boston festival, and had such a fun time! Hope do to it again sometime! Many thanks to Paula Tognarelli and her team for such a great week-end!
This year also saw a changing of the guard in the studio. After four wonderful years working with studio manager John Benford, he decided to move full time in to his own photography business. Because of him, the operations and organization of the studio are in great shape, and his own creative eye contributed greatly to the development of both the digital and print catalogue. Thank you John for all you did to help me through the transition after Harold’s passing and setting us on a great path for the future! I am wishing you all the best in continuing your business at John Benford Photography. Our new studio manager, Cory Levine, is doing a great job picking up where John left off and adding his own ideas and vision to the evolving adventure of fulfilling the mission of the Trust! Cory brings a background in publishing, journalism, graphic design and teaching to the job and has a wonderful breadth of knowledge to bring to the job of studio manager! Welcome Cory! So happy to have him on board and looking forward to our continued collaborations!
On a personal note, this year marked the first full year of being gone from our home of 17 years and all the memories it housed, and the second year anniversary since Harold’s passing. My blogpost “Living to the point of tears: Two years and no time at all” received many warm responses and I’m grateful to those who read these posts for allowing me to share on a more personal level. I once again express my deep gratitude to friends and family who have walked beside me on this journey and who have offered me very concrete support such as a glorious space for Harold’s studio (thank you Jane Bernhardt and Paul Friedrichs) and for myself (thank you Leslie Novak, Jason Novak and Lynne Taylor). This year has found much more lightness returning to my heart and the great rewards of seeing the work of the Trust flourish and grow. But it is the love of family and friends, and the accumulated reservoir of the joy I had with Harold that is truly the foundation upon which it all arises and is sustained. I’m grateful for it all and wishing all my friends far and wide a wonderful 2018!