Sunday, July 27, 2008

Harry Levine

Holding a photo of my great grandfather Harry Levine

One of the things I got to do this summer while traveling around doing promo for Handmade Nation was visit the Brooklyn Museum while I was in NY. I've been meaning to go there for years to check out the work by my great grandfather Harry Levine (pictured above, his work below). I never met my great grandpa Harry, just heard stories and seen many different pieces of his artwork including prints, sculptures, and the violin (not just any violin but one with vines, animals and the head of a ram as the ornate scroll) I wasn't allowed to touch as a kid, that Harry hand-carved. The violin was even accompanied by the frail tattered Yiddish newspaper article about it from the 1940's.

Levine_Negro Head_front view
info on "Negro Head"

Family rumor has it that Harry kept a float during the depression doing furniture commissions for the well to do folks- there is also tales of a large scale totem pole that he sculpted and installed on some river upstate NY. My family searched for it at one point but no one ever found it, or traces of it for that matter.

When my grandpa David Levine passed away I got my hands of all of Harry's negatives from his studio work. Since I was a total photo nerd in high school I reprinted contact prints of all of them (including the photo of him I am holding). There was one half exposed negative of a totem pole peaking out of a bunch of trees- nothing descriptive enough to make a location come clear and even more mysterious since the entire bottom half of the negative is solid black.

Levine_Head of a Girl
info on "Head of a Girl"

Family. x

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