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Irving Kaufman's Art

CHECKERS IN THE PARK, 1940

CHECKERS IN THE...

Aug. 30, 1940. New York’s many parks have long...

REMARKABLE WOMAN, BEAUTIFUL PORTRAIT

REMARKABLE...

Mary Nutting (1858-1948), a pioneer in nursing...

TIRED OF WAITING, 1944

TIRED OF...

Waiting to leave while Dad was finishing work...

MAN EMERGING, 1930s

MAN EMERGING,...

Floyd Bennett Field, southeast Brooklyn, was...

MIKE TODD ACTING CLASS, mid-1940’S

MIKE TODD...

Mike Todd directing his “Midnight Players”...

KIDS AT CARDS, 1930’s

KIDS AT CARDS,...

Apparently undistracted by a nearby...

LITTLE HELPER, c1950

LITTLE HELPER,...

Little brothers can be a pain. So can math...

JITTERBUGGING IN THE AISLES

JITTERBUGGING...

This undated photo from the “big band” era show...

THE SWEEPER (Lighter version), 1962

THE SWEEPER...

The floor seems clean, but dust shows in the...

THE SWEEPER (Darker Version), 1962

THE SWEEPER...

The floor seems clean, but dust shows in the...

LONE WALKER (Lighter Version)

LONE WALKER...

Usually a very busy place, but not on this day,...

LONE WALKER (Darker Version)

LONE WALKER...

Usually a very busy place, but not on this day,...

QUITE A CAREER, 1939

QUITE A CAREER,...

The Fulton Street elevated train line in...

MUST BE SOME SALE, 1947

MUST BE SOME...

Ohrbach’s was a moderately priced clothing...

NY SKYLINE, Midtown,1940

NY SKYLINE,...

Classic mid-century, midtown Manhattan skyline...

ICONS AT TWILIGHT, 1940

ICONS AT...

The two most iconic buildings in NY, if not the...

ICONS IN DAYLIGHT, 1940

ICONS IN...

The two most iconic buildings in NY, if not the...

WIDE MIDTOWN NY SKYLINE AT TWILIGHT, 1945

WIDE MIDTOWN NY...

Here is midtown Manhattan as seen from another...

GROUP ON THE ROOF, WITH A VIEW, 1930s

GROUP ON THE...

Scenes of the city and the river are...

A SIGHT TO BEHOLD,1930s

A SIGHT TO...

Another look at lower Manhattan from the St....

  • Member Status: PLATINUM
  • User Name: IrvingKaufmanStudios
  • Current Location: Phil Kaufman, son, curator; Morristown. NJ
  • Shoots: Black & White, People, Other
Critique Irving Kaufman's Art
ARTIST BIO
My father, Irving Kaufman, was a professional photographer from the mid 1930’s until his death in 1982. He started as a stringer for the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Soon he acquired some local Brooklyn clients – schools, charities, civic organizations. And he began the lifelong practice of photography for the beauty and satisfaction of it. In the early 1940’s he left his downtown Brooklyn studio and opened one in midtown Manhattan. There he continued with some previous clients, but transitioned in the booming 1950’s to publicity and advertising, which he pursued for the rest of his life. In 1982 he left file cabinets with negatives from almost five decades. They spent the next 30-odd years stored in family garages. I always wanted to dig into them, but the endless hours and costly (or non-existent) technology stood in the way. Thousands of negatives were black and white 4 x 5’s from the 30’s to the 50’s. Some free time after I retired, combined with new technology, got me going. I could view the old negatives on a light tray, choose promising ones, snap an iPad photo, invert to positive, and do some basic editing. The resulting images, though crude, showed quality and variety that I didn’t know existed, and that had literally been in the dark for 70 or 80 years. That’s what led to this display. I narrowed thousands to hundreds and organized them in categories (streets, stores, people, societal concerns and skylines). Then, working with YAG curator Danieille Albertz Bruce, we chose about 60 for this showing. Hundreds, maybe thousands more, in these same categories and many different ones, await. [All displayed negatives have been professionally scanned and edited, with top quality technology and a professional’s eye.] Information about the photos is from my father's notes on storage envelopes. Submissions to the Eagle usually have dates, locations and some details. The rest have whatever he wrote, sometimes nothing. I was able (with help from a Brooklynite cousin and the internet) to determine some locations and approximate dates, but much is still missing. It has been a joy for me to see the world through my father's eyes. I was familiar with some "special" shots, and I knew of his love for the city. But that didn't prepare me for the scope and artistry of what I uncovered. These early works overflow with historic and human interest and are simply beautiful in their own right. I hope you agree. Thanks. Enjoy. --Phil Kaufman
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