PHOTOGRAPHS AND PAINTINGS FEATURED IN HAVERFORD COLLEGE ALUMNI EXHIBIT
A selection of photographs by Charles Henry Currier (1851-1938) and paintings by Robert Feinland '67 will be part of the annual alumni exhibit at the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, May 26-Sept.10.
Currier’s photographs were donated to Haverford by Thomas Garver ’56, who wrote his master’s thesis on the artist. The pictures depict everyday life in New England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries: bicycle messengers, a Maine coast lighthouse and its keepers, a family gathered on the porch of a summer cottage, passengers waiting for a trolley, the interior of a hospital in Concord, Mass., and much more.
“Here the essence is distilled from the ordinary, isolated from the matrix of life,” writes Garver, “so that it may tell us more about that time, so long gone, captured by an all but anonymous photographer, but one with a very sensitive eye.”
Currier was a successful Boston jeweler before becoming a professional photographer in 1889. After his death, his glass plate negatives were purchased in 1938 by commercial artist and photographer Ernst Halberstadt, who later sold them to the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Here, Garver catalogued the images and displayed them in a 1964 exhibit at Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum, where he once served as assistant director.
Garver bought a number of “exhibition quality” original prints of Currier’s photos, several of which he gave to Haverford’s collection. More recently, he made a gift to the College of 52 Currier images, from which this exhibit has been selected.
Robert Feinland’s paintings, most of which are oil on linen, trace a theme of urban change and over-development. “They often use the beautiful old churches and synagogues of New York to represent landscape and the feeling of space that is being lost to office and condominium buildings,” says Feinland. “The work has developed in part from a personal feeling of love and attachment to the old shuls of the Lower East Side, which are fast disappearing.”
Titles include “Dumbo Depression,” depicting a hole dug near Feinland’s studio where a 30-story condominium building will block a view of the Manhattan Bridge; “Sculpture for Living,” the name given to a new condo building at Astor Place that, says Feinland, “clashes with the beautiful historic architecture of the Cooper Union Building and the nearby Public Theater;” and “Lost Landscapes: Holy Cross Church at 42nd Street.”
Brooklyn-born Feinland studied painting at the Brooklyn Museum Art School and the Art Students’ League and received his M.F.A. from Brooklyn College. He has taught at the Educational Alliance and the New York Academy, and created an art workshop for teenagers at the DOOR: Center of Alternatives. He has participated in one-person shows at the Roerich Museum, Educational Alliance and Civic Center Synagogue, in three-person shows at the Vorpal Gallery, P.S. 122 Gallery, and Manhattanville College, and in group shows at Provincetown Art Museum, A.M. Adler Fine Arts, and the Lupine Gallery on Monhegan Island. His paintings have been reproduced by the New York Times, the Forward, the Villager, Jewish Week, and the Daily News.
Located in Whitehead Campus Center, the Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery will be open Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. during the summer, and in September 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 5-8 p.m. Wednesday evenings, and 12-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call (610) 896-1287 or visit www.cantorfitzgeraldgallery.org.
— Brenna McBride