Howard Greenberg

NEW PALTZ – SUNY New Paltz has received a donation of photographs by two significant New York-based photographers of the 20th century, which will be added to the permanent collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.

The works come from the collection of Howard Greenberg, a longtime friend of the College and The Dorsky Museum, and have been accepted by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, which coordinates philanthropic contributions for the enrichment of academic activities at the College.

Greenberg’s gift includes 14 images from Aaron Siskind’s “Harlem Document,” and 15 images from Joel Meyerowitz’s “Cape Cod” series.

Greenberg is an authority on 19th and 20thcentury photography, the founder of the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW), and a 2012 recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the George Eastman House. He has been a friend of The Dorsky Museum since its inception. His creation of an endowment to support photographic exhibitions, catalogues and conservation at the museum led to the naming of the Howard Greenberg Family Gallery on his behalf, and his donations have come to comprise nearly half of the museum’s photography collection.

The present gift focuses on works by two major photographers of the 20th century:

Siskind (1903-1991) began his career as a social documentary photographer under the auspices of the New York Photo League. His most notable work during this period was the “Harlem Document,” a series of portraits and scenes of street and home life in Harlem taken between 1932 and 1940.

Meyerowitz (1938- ) was a renowned New York street photographer in 1976 when he decided to trade his 35mm for an 8-by-10, large-format camera and try photographing on Cape Cod, where he spent summers. The slower pace of life on the Massachusetts cape, combined with the heavy, complicated camera, made for a dramatic change in his photographic process.

The photographs Meyerowitz produced for this series — mostly landscapes that showcased the area’s natural beauty through several seasons— were unlike any he’d produced before. They are acclaimed for Selections from the series were eventually published in 1979’s Cape Light, which became a classic.

These new additions to The Dorsky’s permanent collection may be be viewed in the searchable collections database of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art: