Happy New Year! Looking back on 2017 and forward to 2018

Just a few of the great media pieces accompanying the exhibition: Harold Feinstein: Contagious Optimism (February 2-April 30) ©Serge Ricco,2017

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! .

A photo collage from the opening of the Harold Feinstein: Contagious Optimism exhibition at Galerie Thierry Bigaignon February – May, 2017.  From the  top: with Daphne Angles, New York Times Paris bureau chief; people enjoying the opening; center: friends visiting the opening; with Claudia Huidobro and Francios Hebel; bottom: Thomas Encho, Thierry Bigaignon, Agathe Gaillard.


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.


A video clip of Philippe Garner commenting on the work of Harold Feinstein during Photo London 2016.
London photo dealer and art historian Carrie Scott of Carrie Scott and Partners organized a private collector’s viewing of the work hosted by collector Polly Moore. Carrie has been a great asset to the Trust ever since she joined the team! Thank you Carrie!


Photo collage from the exhibition Harold Feinstein: Legacy of a Photographer in Istanbul, 2017. At the top:  Curator Coşar Kulaksız.  At the bottom: Isil Oruk, the senior manager for marketing and corporate communications at Odeabank, who was responsible for making this exhibition happen

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.

©Wiliam Franson.

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!

Clockwise from upper left: Sarah Kennel, Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum; Philippe Garner, Emeritus Director of Photography at Christie’s Auction House; A.D. Coleman, photo critic and historian; Jason Landry, former gallery owner and instigator of Kickstarter Project for Harold’s book Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective (Nazraeli, 2012); Howard Greenberg, Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York; Sam Stephenson, writer and historian, author of The Jazz Loft Project; Thierry Bigaignon, owner Galerie Thierry Bigaignon.

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.

Here Harold speaks about the limitations of the medium and how they serve as a springboard for making a creative statement. From a class in October, 1999.

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!

A wonderful time at the Griffin Museum of Photography’s Focus Awards 2017! From top left: Elizabeth Alvedon winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, with presenter, Sean Parry; Mary Engel of APAG (American Photo Archives Group) with presenter, Judith Thompson; the whole group of awardees, presenters, board and emcees (with Board Chair Drew Epstein on the left, Griffin CEO Paula Tognarelli up above and emcee Lou Jones on far right) Beuford Smith, Judith and Leslie Jean-Bart at the portfolio reviews; Judith and Lee Griffin, wife of Arthur Jones, founder of the Griffin Museum!


John Benford and Judith Thompson on John’s last day in the studio. Farewell John and thank you!
Cory Levine, Studio Manager

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!


“Live to the point of tears”, Albert Camus.  These photos and the quote hung on our refrigerator door in Merrimac and became the inspiration for my blogpost of the same title.

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!


A double rainbow over  the Carriage House, Newburyport, MA.  where I currently reside with dear friends.  The picture speaks well to the joyful spirit of the place, it’s small family including people, two cats, many birds and other creatures of the land.  Grateful!