Hungarian House of Photography
Earlier Exhibitions

André Kertész Hall
George Eastman Hall

Superlative Photography
Howard Greenberg collection

Open to the public:
September 28, 2013 – January 5, 2014
on Weekdays: 14.00 - 19.00
at Weekends 11.00 - 19.00

Photo University for Beginners and Advanced Students

Sometime in early spring, on a nice sunny morning, I looked through the book and the files sent to me,and I simply became happy. This exhibition, which has been no easy feat to realize, is like a photouniversity – bringing pictures to the Mai Manó House, which are integral parts of the universal history ofphotography. Classics. Almost required viewing for all students – beginner, intermediate and advanced– of photography. Among the authors of the 171 original works, we find those like Robert Frank, fromwhose book, The Americans, we can count on a focus on modern photography. We present the picturesof Weegee, of Hungarian ancestry, that bear witness to the perversity of the American dream, and ofDiane Arbus, whose personages gazing into her camera represent first themselves, and not thestrangeness and extremism that is always present. Also appearing in the exhibition is Manuel ÁlvarezBravo, without whom contemporary Mexican photography would be unimaginable, and whose mentorsincluded Tina Modotti and Edward Weston. Naturally, his pictures also travel with this exhibition.Without the photos of Josef Koudelka, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, andWalker Evans, not a single volume of universal photo history could have been published in this world.Also in the selection is Roman Vishniac, who recorded the Jews of Poland and the Carpathian Basin inthe last moments before their deportation and annihilation, establishing with this an indictment withoutlimits for eternity. We present a few photos from the volume, Children of a Vanished World. And thenthere are: Bill Brandt, Lewis Hine, Jacob A. Riis, Dorothea Lange, Aaron Siskind, Marc Riboud, MinorWhite, W. Eugene Smith, Lisette Model, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Irving Penn, and the pre-eminences of the Czech avant-garde: Jaroslav Rössler, Funke, Drtikol, and Josef Sudek are representedwith one or more pictures in the exhibition. Among the Hungarians in the collection, there are someimages from: André Kertész, Márton Munkácsi, Robert Capa, Imre Kinszki, and Angelo.

The lengthy listing is intentional. The roll-call. Because it is bewildering. Because it compels self-examination. Do I know, do we know enough about this art form? We can have many sorts of answers.Of course, we know all of this – we are up to our elbows in it. Power to the one who says this, or thinksthis. Someone else might say that they have seen a lot of this, separately – but like this, together… Andthere can also be those who, though they are interested in photography, or even spend a lot on it, orseek it out, have knowledge of it that is sketchy. Whatever their answer may be, the occasion is now –to become acquainted with the selected pieces of Howard Greenberg’s New York collection. Not inParis, not at the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson; not in Switzerland, in the Musée de l’Elysée; buthere, in Budapest, at the Hungarian House of Photography.

Popular, lovable and famous, important – and the most important photos of universal photo historywere selected and compiled. Why these and not others? Just because.

Just as with every private collection, no matter how much it strives for objectivity, it still fundamentallyreflects the individual taste of its selector. And though American authors may dominate (careful with thisnotion: to word it more precisely, we are thinking of authors who became known in the USA, becamefamous!), it still appears that from the New York gallery, Howard Greenberg saw far off, drawingfrom quite a broad circle, and whatever appeared in his collection, it had either already been an iconpreviously, or he helped to make them a part of the canon. We know that international publicity isneeded for pictures, for their authors, collectors with good references, museums of great prestige, andgalleries that appear as points of orientation before the individuals and institutions engaged in similarthings around the world. Howard Greenberg and the gallery that he has operated for decades, just asthe Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, are such.

We still have things to learn.

I recommend this exhibition, this collection, for the young and old alike, for those who are still innocent inphotography and for those slick old foxes, I recommend it for those wishing to learn and for those whoteach – because just such an opportunity will hardly occur here in the near future. The pictures ofauthors found in thick photo albums, in auction houses producing falls of the hammer at millions ofdollars, and in the photography collections of the world, provide personal encounters with each other atthe Mai Manó House.

And even for those who are not interested in all that I have amassed here, or who would not like tolearn, Howard Greenberg and the Musée de l’Elysée offer a worthwhile exhibition: behold, this is whata serious photography collection looks like – and we could follow its example…

KINCSES Károly, curator of the Budapest exhibition

The artists

Aaron Siskind ● Adolf Schneeberger ● Alexander Rodchenko ● André Kertész ● Angelo ● Arnold Newman ● Arthur Rothstein ● August Sander ● Ben Shahn ● Berenice Abbott ● Bill Brandt ● Bob Adelman ● Bruce Davidson ● Charles Moore ● Dan Weiner ● Dave Heath ● David Seymour ● Dennis Stock ● Diane Arbus ● Dorothea Lange ● Eddie Adams ● Edouard Boubat ● Edward Steichen ● Edward Weston ● Frank Gohlke ● František Drtikol ● Garry Winogrand ● Gjon Mili ● Gordon Coster ● Gordon Parks ● Hamilton Wright ● Hansel Mieth ● Harold E. Edgerton ● Harry Callahan ● Helen Levitt ● Henri Cartier-Bresson ● Irving Penn ● Jacob Riis ● Jaromír Funke ● Jaroslav Rössler ● Jessie Tarbox Beals ● Jindřich Štyrský ● John Vanderpant ● Josef Koudelka ● Josef Sudek ● Lee Friedlander ● Leon Levinstein ● Leonard Freed ● Lewis Hine ● Lillian Bassman ● Lisette Model ● Imre Kinszki ● Manuel Álvarez Bravo ● Marc Riboud ● Margaret Bourke-White ● Martin Munkácsi ● Minor White ● Paul Caponigro ● Paul Strand ● Peter Sekaer ● Ralph Eugene Meatyard ● Richard Avedon ● Robert Adams ● Robert Capa ● Robert Frank ● Roman Vishniac ● Roy DeCarava ● Russel Lee ● Ruth Orkin ● Sally Mann ● Saul Leiter ● Sid Grossman ● Sol Libsohn ● W. Eugene Smith ● Walker Evans ● Weegee ● Werner Bischof ● William Klein ● Yevgeny Khaldei

About the exhibition:

A gallery owner for over thirty years, Howard Greenberg is considered today one of the pillars of New York photography scene. While his position as a dealer is well established, little was known of his passion for collecting, which is now revealed to the public. The primary reason explaining why it took so long to discover this collection is because building such a collection demands time. Only in time can the maturity of a collection be measured; a time necessary to smooth out trends, confirm the rarity of a print, and in the end, assess the pertinence of a vision.

In addition to furthering a deeper understanding of photography as a medium, Howard Greenberg also broadly contributed to history in the making. While contributing to the recognition of the long neglected figures of New York post-war photography scene, filling a gap as gallery owner, Howard Greenberg as collector ensured the preservation of a coherent body by building over that period a unique collection of major photographs.

The collection of over 500 photographs was patiently built over the last thirty years and stands out for the high quality of its prints. Exhibited for the first time at the Musée de l’Elysée, a selection of 138 photographs by 80 artists is now shown at the Hungarian House of Photography, revealing different aspects of Howard Greenberg’s interests. The selection gathers exemplary works of great masters into one exhibit, offering a unique opportunity to learn about photography's history and its classics.

A catalogue, published by Steidl, is available for order at the Mai Manó Gallery and Bookstore on the mezzanine floor; here books and albums by the world-famous photographers are also available for purchase. Joints events of guided tours, performances, lectures, and round-table discussions will accompany the exhibit throughout its duration (exact dates are to be announced continually on our website and social media platform).

The exhibition is a joint production between the Musée de l’Elysée and the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson. The realization of the Budapest show was assisted by the Munkácsy Foundation.

Sam Stourdzé, director, Musée de l'Elysée
Anne Lacoste, curator, Musée de l'Elysée
Agnés Sire, director, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson
Associate curator in charge of the exhibition in Budapest:
Károly Kincses, photo-museologist, Hungarian House of Photography

Additional texts written by:
Curators of Musée de l'Elyséeée Gábor Pfisztner

Translation by:
Adele Eisenstein, Dániel Sipos, Laura Tóth


Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
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Telephone: 473-2666
Fax: 473-2662

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