Exhibit in Baldwin Gallery captures faces of Harlem

Stein youth with basketballThe Baldwin Photographic Gallery’s new exhibit features stunning portraits from the heart of New York City’s Harlem district by photographer Harvey Stein.

“Harlem Street Portraits” will run through Feb. 28. The gallery is on the second floor of the Mass Communication Building and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Harlem, located in upper Manhattan, is densely populated with nearly 300,000 people living in 3.5 square miles. Historically, the neighborhood is known for the cultural history rooted deeply in its African-American population. From the 1920’s “Harlem Renaissance” to the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s to today’s growing demand for upper Manhattan real estate, Harlem has continued to be a thriving community known for its artistic expression and political activism.

“Harlem Street Portraits” is a culmination of two decades worth of photography on the streets of perhaps the United States’ most well-known African-American neighborhood. Stein, a New York City professional photographer, began taking photos of Harlem in 1990, with the intent of documenting the spirit of the people who live there.

Stein woman at bus stop“My intention is to show a sense of community,” Stein said, “and to document the humanity and spirit of the people while confirming Harlem’s basic nature – a vibrant, important and essential world famous neighborhood that faces a radically changing future.”

Stein’s photographs are mostly collaborative portraits that abandon the strategies of candid photography and instead engage the individual with their full knowledge and involvement. He feels this leads to each portrait becoming more than just a depiction of a person.

“It becomes an intimate record of a personal encounter,” Stein said. “For me, and hopefully for the subject, the experience is rich and memorable.”

The Baldwin Gallery will host a lecture by Stein on Thursday, Feb. 5, beginning at 7 p.m. in Mass Comm 103.  A reception will follow immediately after in the gallery upstairs.

Stein teaches at the International Center of Photography and is a frequent lecturer on photography both in the United States and abroad. He is the director of photography at Umbrella Arts Gallery, located in the East Village of Manhattan. His photographs are in more than 56 permanent collections, including but not limited to the George Eastman House, Bibliotheque Nationale, the Art Institute of Chicago, Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the International Center of Photography, the Denver Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

To learn more about Stein’s work, please click here.

Stein two youths in car

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