Harold Feinstein (1931-2015) began his career in photography in 1946 at the age of 15 and within four short years, Edward Steichen, an early supporter, had purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). He joined the Photo League at 17 and became a prominent figure in the vanguard of the early New York City street photography scene. He was one of the original inhabitants of the legendary « Jazz Loft » which he later turned over to his long-time collaborator and colleague W. Eugene Smith. Feinstein had his first exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1954 and his first exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1957. While his Coney Island work has been much celebrated, Feinstein’s breadth and exposure are far greater. He has a large collection of classic street photography, nudes, portraits and still life. His first black and white monograph, « Harold Feinstein, A Retrospective », was published in 2012 by Nazraeli Press and won a Photo District News 2013 award in the Best Photo Books category. Feinstein’s photographs have been exhibited in and are represented in the permanent collections of major museums around the globe including the Museum of Modern Art, International Center of Photography, George Eastman House, Museum of Photographic Arts, Center for Creative Photography, Musée d’Art Moderne, the Jewish Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York. His portfolios, photo essays, and articles have been published in major periodicals including, LIFE, Aperture, Black and White, Camera Arts, The New York Times Magazine, American Photo, Oprah Magazine, Evergreen Review, Photography Annual, Modern Photography and Popular Photography. In 2011 at the age of 80, he was given « The Living Legend Award » by the Griffin Museum of Photography.

Retrospective Part 1: the early years (1940s-1950s)
Contagious Optimism!

3 FEBRUARY - 30 APRIL 2017

For the first time in Europe, the Galerie Thierry Bigaignon presents an exceptional retrospective of the work of American photographer Harold Feinstein (1931 - 2015).

Described as the ‘photography prodigy’ by his fellow artists, Harold Feinstein was 19 when Edward Steichen purchased his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), making him the youngest person to be so honored.

Representative of the 'New York School of Photography', his work spans six decades and intimately portrays the iconic American playground as a place of on-going exuberance and vitality. Even though Harold Feinstein has been honored on many occasions in the USA, and despite the fact his work has long been part of the most prestigious public and private collections, he is still mostly unknown in Europe.

The retrospective will span over several years. The first part of which will be dedicated to the early years of Harold Feinstein's work (1940’s and 1950’s) with a selection of black and white photographs full of humanist qualities and contagious optimism.

  • 35 limited edition signed silver gelatin prints
  • Prices range from 3 750 € to 7 950 €
  • A rare signed copy of his retrospective book is available online