Harold Feinstein

(1931-2015)

Harold Feinstein was born in 1931 in New York and at the age of fifteen began to seriously engage in photography. Soon he joined the Photoligue of New York - a group of professional and amateur photographers - and began to play a prominent role in the photographic vanguard of the city. Already in 1935, Edward Steichen, who was at that time the director of the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), bought Finethe's work in a permanent collection.
In the early 1950s, Feinstein worked closely with Eugene Smith, one of the first representatives of humanistic photography, to help him disassemble and edit pictures, as well as create the layout of the famous book on Pittsburgh. Thanks to Smith, Feinstein has finally shaped his understanding of photography and how it can influence the worldview of people.
The most famous series of works by Feinstein, which he has been completing for more than sixty years, is dedicated to the place of his birth ─ Coney Island. The photographer himself commented on his loyalty to the topic: “I was born on Coney Island and always said that from the womb of my mother I got straight to the first booth of roller coasters. For five cents, I could take a tram to an amusement park and spend money for walks, rides and sweets. Drawing portraits on asphalt, I could earn extra money to immediately spend every single cent, and go home on the back footboard of the tram. But most of all I loved to watch. For many years, Coney Island’s appearance reflected immigration waves and the displacement of the boundaries of Orthodox regions, African Americans, Italians, Russians, Puerto Ricans. All this motley crowd from around the world attracted surf, sand, wide sidewalks, rides, Nathan's hot dogs and the opportunity to relax and forget about the restrictions. ”
In 1954, the first exhibition of Harold Feinstein was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and in 1957 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in New York (MoMA). By the age of 26, Fainstan became a recognized master of photography and began teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, the Museum of Philadelphia, the School of Visual Arts in New York and the University of Massachusetts. Photographs of Feinstein were exhibited and included in the permanent collections of institutions such as the New York Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, the International Center for Photography and the Jewish Museum in New York, the International Museum of Photography and Cinema George Eastman House, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, the Center Creative Photography University of Arizona, Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris.
Feinstein's work has been published in publications such as LIFE, Aperture, Black and White, Camera Arts, American Photo, Oprah Magazine, Evergreen Review, Photography Annual, Modern Photography and Popular Photography. In 2012 the first monograph of Feinstein was published, which became the winner of PDN Photo Annual Award 2013. In 2011, at the age of eighty was awarded the Living Legend Prize of the Griffin Museum of Photography (Griffin Museum of Photography).