Opening Reception: Sunday, April 6th, 2-4 p.m. All are welcome!
In April, the Piermont Library will exhibit vintage black and white photographs taken in the 1950s by Palisades resident Frances Breer. After graduating from college in 1949, Breer “had no idea where to go or what to do.” Luckily, a friend got her a job as “Girl Friday” in the New York photography studio of Lillian Bassman and Paul Himmel. Bassman was the Art Director of Harper’s Bazaar Junior, and Himmel did work for Vogue and Bazaar, while developing a unique fine art style. Breer “learned about photography putting photos in envelopes and staying late to use their darkrooms.” She later joined the studio of Frances and Bruno Pellegrini as studio manager and did a few photography jobs for them while continuing with her own work. The Pellegrinis introduced her to Palisades.
From 1955 to 1960, she lived in Paris with her husband, the artist Robert Breer. The photographs in this exhibition were taken mainly in France, Germany and Italy from 1950-1960, and include charming vignettes from the Paris Bird Market.
Today Frances is focusing her creative efforts on oil painting, but enjoys looking at the old photographs “for the memories they hold and as a reminder of what my ‘eye’ saw then and how I see now.” For the rest of us, they provide a compelling glimpse into the world of postwar Europe as seen by a young American woman photographer.