Life On Coney Island: Harold Feinstein

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“Everywhere, people live out their own personal story, yet are tied together through the universal emotions of love, loss, curiosity, humor and compassion.” – Harold Feinstein

Street photography holds a special place for us. I don’t know if it’s the spontaneity or the suspense of not knowing what you’re going to get when you press the shutter. It is a difficult medium to get right and takes a certain intuition that not everyone has. Harold Feinstein has that gift. His photographs of everyday life in New York and Coney Island in the 1940s and 50s are joy-filled and playful. You can tell by looking at them that they were shot by someone who loves life and wants to share that love with his photography. Starting his career at the young age of only fifteen, Feinstein did not take long to make a name for himself. Within four years, Edward Steichen had bought his work for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and in 1954, at the age of 26, he had his first exhibition held there. H.M. Kinzer of Photography Annual said, “At the age of 26, Harold Feinstein has reached the point in his photographic career when the word ‘master’ is being applied to his prints by some ordinarily cautious critics.” If you can spare any time at all today, I strongly encourage you to check out his site. Once there you won’t be able to stop yourself from looking at every single image. They range from whimsical photos of Coney Island in the 1940s to the more sobering portraits of the Korean War, which he took as a draftee. He also has a large collection of nudes, portraits and still-lifes. His first black and white monograph, Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective, is being published this year by Nazraeli Press and will be available in October.

 

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[via PDN Photo of the Day]