Re-Discovered: Still finding buried treasure

Paris Bulldogs, 1987

This photograph was taken in 1987 when Harold was people-watching in the outdoor cafes of Paris. Since an exhibition of Harold’s work is once again on view in Paris (Graciously Yours, Galerie Thierry Bigaignon, May 24-August 31, 2018) it seemed a logical time to post this photo, which appears in the film Last Stop Coney Island: The life and photography of Harold Feinstein.

Earlier this year filmmaker Andy Dunn previewed an edit of the film for Philippe Garner (Emeritus head of Photography, Christie’s) who appears in it. Philippe was delighted to see his good friend Robert Vallois (left) in the photo! Robert and his wife, Cheska, are pre-eminent experts in Art Deco and own three galleries  in Paris and New York.

Harold had no idea who was in this photo, but loved the scene. Now if I can only find out who the other two men are…and of course, the dog!

Related link:  Philippe Garner commentary on Harold’s work at Photo London, 2017.  


Paris couple by river, 1988

From Harold’s perspective, the two best places in the world to photograph were Coney Island and Paris. In 1988 he spent several weeks in Paris and brought back thousands of black and white and color images, which still are calling out for editing! This photo was among his favorites. He said: “Paris is consonant with love. Everywhere you look couples are kissing and that romance that you thought was only from the movies is really true about Paris.”

Man in the mirror, Philadelphia, 1964

This was taken around the same time as Beauty parlor window. Harold was living and teaching in Philadelphia. He had marked it on the original contact sheet with an intention to come back to it. But as is often the case, life moved on and it got left behind — until Ted Forbes’ (The Art of Photography) wife, Nicole Stutzman, commented on it when she visited the studio in 2014. It was one of the many images in the queue to be printed when Harold left us in June.

Late afternoon lunch counter, 1980

I started using color film at Coney Island in the early 80’s and this is one of the photographs I’ve recently found from that series. The scene is coming off the BMT subway line at Stillwell Ave and walking into this lunch counter in the late afternoon. Turn left and continue on to Surf Avenue for Nathan’s hot dogs and the rides! And most of all, enjoy!

Stone house, Crete, 1983

I love the Greek Islands; the quality of light, the white-washed houses. When I came across this photograph just recently I was taken by the window that contains within it a second window. A courtyard perhaps looking across to another entrance within? Windows within windows give a kind of strange disorientation that evokes some aspects of the magical I have always felt in the Greek Islands.

Mother and child, 1968

I can’t remember taking this photograph. My negative says 1968 and the rest of the images on the contact sheet are of Coney Island, so it’s a total mystery to me! It was first discovered by Sean Corcoran at the Museum of the City of New York who was doing an edit of my Coney Island work and there it was sandwiched between the boardwalk and the Cyclone! I love the gaze between mother and child. The camera doesn’t actually catch the eyes, yet the bond of love is so clear and the quality of light in the room accentuates the sense of tenderness between them.

Lonely boat in the mist, 1982

I spent some time in the Adirondacks in 1982. As a city boy I always enjoyed heading to the Catskills with my parents in the summer; exploring nature on my own and finding great contentment in the quietness. Not unlike city streets, I also found that sitting and watching inevitably results in something of beauty crossing my path.

Reading the Daily Mirror, 1949

After doing a bit of research about the headline on this paper, I’ve determined it was taken in 1949. Vishinsky Tuns Down Unity Plan refers to Soviet Foreign Minister, who met in Paris with U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson and British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin to determine the fate of Germany after World War II. This gentlemen on the bus in Brooklyn is reading his Daily Mirror, then the rival to the Daily News, which later acquired it’s name-rights when it folded after the newspaper strike in 1963.