Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective

ISBN: 978-1-59005-369-0
2012, Nazraeli Press, Portland OR, USA
Hardcover, 12 x 13, 108 pages, approx 80 duotone plates.


Harold Feinstein, A Retrospective is the first career-spanning monograph showcasing the brilliance of a small camera master of black-and-white photography. The 80 duotone plates span a half century of exquisite imagery, with the majority from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. In addition to his classic Coney Island photographs taken over six decades, this volume includes some of his best known street photographs, as well as his lesser known, but recently released images from his life as an army draftee during the Korean War and some portraits, nudes, and still-life.

This gorgeously produced linen bound book is the perfect gift for anyone who seeks art that is both renewing, life-affirming and visually stimulating. With Feinstein’s appreciative eye, a vital era in the history of photography comes to life through these intimate, engaging and beautifully composed images.

“If Diane Arbus took photographs of ordinary people to demonstrate how flawed humans can be, Feinstein reveals how hard circumstances can be transcended. There is nothing critical or anxious about his pictures. His subjects are alive, thinking, feeling human beings. For Feinstein, it does not matter what people do, where they come from, or what they look like. Their faces light up just the same, and their eyes sparkle with excitement. His subject is us — all of us — and our better nature.”
— From the Introduction, by Phillip Prodger, Photography Curator, Peabody Essex Museum


Quotes From The Book

[one_half]Photo: Boy with Chalk Numbers, 1955

Harold Feinstein’s black and white street photographs are absolutely beautiful. They combine powerful content with a perfect sense of graphics. Harold’s photographs are proof of the magic of realism. He has the ability to find something incredible in the ordinary. He is a great artist with the rare gift of a great eye.
Mary Ellen Mark, photographer

Photo: Soldiers on Troop Ship, 1953

Our troops, our veterans, and their families should be honored with the respect of a grateful nation. Through his photographs, Harold Feinstein captures an era of men that truly merit this honor, respect, and gratitude.
John F. Kerry, United States Senator

One of the most satisfying aspects to the field of photography is that we continue to uncover remarkable portfolios of work from the 20th century that regretfully never got the full attention they deserve. Such is the case with the photographs of Harold Feinstein. Photo: Woman Stepping from Car, 1946Looking at his images now gives us visual nourishment of a time that we lived, or did not live, but get to experience through these wonderfully captured moments.
Linda Benedict-Jones, Curator of Photography, Carnegie Museum of Art


Photo: If this Isn’t Love, then maybe I’m crazy, 1950

Harold Feinstein, in his photographs from the late 1940’s and 1950’s, had a special touch. His images, at once joyous and engaging, appear to be made from within the photograph and not from a customary distance. They are alive and allow the viewer a privileged place in his world. All this, while displaying a mastery of light, composition, the moment; elements which make good photographs, great. Feinstein occupies a high ground in the pantheon of street photography.
Howard Greenberg, Owner of Howard Greenberg Gallery

Photo: Storefront Christ with Children, 1950

What’s remarkable and nourishing about Harold’s black and white work is that he addresses a really gritty, stressful, difficult environment – an archetypal city like New York – which many people have shown as dark, dangerous, gloomy, isolated, inhumane – and consistently finds in it the moments of charm, pleasure, human tenderness, generosity – even the spiritual – that is there.
A.D. Coleman, photo historian and critic

Feinstein’s youthful images of post-WWII Coney Island reveal the stature that documentary photography as art was just beginning to gain.Photo: Man Standing by Parachute Drop, 1949 Their vitality and elegant figural grace speak to that robust era with an instinctive, innocent, yet passionate eye.
Mason Klein, Curator, The Jewish Museum


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