Leonard Freed at C/O Berlin

Last night the Leonard Freed exhibit opened at C/O Berlin. What a great show! I knew several Leonard Freed images already, but I never knew that so many of the pictures that I’ve come to love over the years were shot by the same man. He was one of the few (the only?) Jewish Magnum members, and he was not shy about documenting his cultural roots. There were a number of images from the post-war Jewish community in Germany, and a lot of pictures of Chasidim in New York.

Below is a small sample culled from the Internet, but as usual, I recommend you go buy the book. It’s such a great way to enjoy photography. In this case Steidl just released one that follows the title of the show – Weltanschauung, World-View.

After searching the web for some of his pictures, I realize that many of his most popular ones are of the kids he meets. They’re always extremely sensitive images, and say a lot about the world he is moving through at that moment. But I wonder if he could have worked the same way in today’s hysteria about people taking pictures of children. Most of you non-photographers probably don’t realize it, but just bringing out a little point-and-shoot camera at the playground means some over-puffed self-righteous parent will come over and demand to know who/what/when/where/and why you’re taking pictures.

Well, rarely “who”, because they just assume it’s their kid…

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