For an exhibition, juxtaposing two designers working in different time periods to showcase their resemblances is no major feat. Especially when, on paper, the two designers happen to be independent women with a proclivity for expressing their opinions candidly. So when their opposing intentions, differing philosophies, and social obstacles garner similar results, something beyond a well-placed mannequin in a glorified diorama is needed to explain the uncanny results. Cue
One of Levinstein’s sunbathers. More photos after the text.
How is it that a photographer like Leon Levinstein – a West Virginia boy who moved to New York in 1946 and took some of the most iconic photographs of the city and its inhabitants, a man whose work is compared to and was shown with Edward Steichen, Richard Avedon, Robert Frank, Diane Arbus and the like – how is it that a talented guy like that worked a day job his whole life and remained relatively obscure while his contemporaries are still known today around the world?
Say a phrase as dangerous as “early female artists” and you’re likely to conjure romantic or pastoral images or perhaps Mary Cassatt’s soft-focus portraits of mother and child. But just before Cassatt and after the formidable female painting talent from the medieval and renaissance periods, the ladies of the Victorian era also dabbled in the…