January 23, 2017 -- Today, with the passing of Dan Neuberger, we lost our
dear friend and a gifted artist. In recent months Dan's health had been failing; he
passed away this morning after a short hospital stay. He will be missed by
his many friends and associates. At Image City we will keenly miss his
smile, his jokes, and his art; a founding partner, we will always remember his presence, participation, and creativity
in the Gallery operation. The Partners, his many friends, and our visitors will long remember
and miss him. His art lives on.
In 2016 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the
Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Clubs at their annual banquet. Based on a
video produced by Partner Carl Crumley for that event, this video summarizes the
full life and art of Dan Neuberger.
For the NFRCC event, Dan composed the
following autobiography presented with his favorite Comic Sans font and
several of his best known photographs.
Dan Neuberger by Dan
Iapologize for the length of this bio, but I
have lived a long time, and have done many things.
At age 11, I attended a WPA art school in New York
City to learn how to paint.The instructor told me that I was good
technically, but lacked imagination.At that point, I decided to become a
scientist, and eventually became one.
16, photography discovered me, when my brother gave me his 1933 Rolleiflex.I developed a real taste for photography
and have been savoring it ever since.
While at Columbia College, I was very active in
the camera club.I became Chairman of Experimental
Workshops, and later, President. During my college years, I was a
photography counselor in private camps for two summers. I graduated Magna
Cum Laude in chemistry, and a Phi Beta Kappa key.
The next few
harrowing years were spent at the University of Rochester getting a PhD in
Physical Chemistry and in the army, so my photographic career was put on
I was then hired by Kodak and worked there as a
photographic scientist for thirty-onehappy years, with fascinating research and
free film. I formed a symbiotic relationship between my two great loves, the
scientific and aesthetic aspects of photography, both of which required
creativity.My favorite compliment at the time was that
I exhibited a nice blend of right- and left-brain activity. I was voted the
second most creative researcher in the Color Photography Division, was the
first scientist to be sent for a year to the research laboratories in Paris
to collaborate with our French colleagues.
at Kodak, I became very active in the Kodak Camera Club, chose thejudges for over fifteen years. and won gold
medals in the Kodak and the Rochester International Salons of Photography.
the eighties, I attended three Master Classes in Color Photography at the
Maine Photographic Workshops, and that was very exciting….we ate drank and
slept photography for a solid week.I had some great teachers there, among them
Sam Abel, a National Photographic Photographer, and Jay Maisel who is a
wonderful photographer and quite a character.
Before retiring from Kodak in 1986, I joined
Camera Rochester, have been choosing judges there for the past thirty years,
and am still an enthusiastic member.Speaking of judging, I have done that for
camera clubs in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, and two summer festivals,
Art in the Garden at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, and the Park Avenue
Festival in Rochester.
retiring, I had more free time, and it was spent pretty much all on
photography.I started doing photography for artists and
craftsmen, and did that for twenty years.It was fun, I met many interesting people,
saw some excellent art, and even made some money.Among my clients (mostly from Rochester,
but also from Buffalo, Ithaca, Binghamton, and Syracuse) were professors and
students at the School for American Crafts at theRochester Institute of Technology.The high point in that endeavor was when a
professor and a graduate student in glass, were selected, based on my
photography, to be in the top one hundred glass craftsmen in the world in a
competition run and judged by Corning.
also did a lot of pro-bono photography for not-for-profits, such as Jordan
Health Center, Regional Council on Aging, Rochester Area Foundation, Eastern
Service Workers Association, Community Place, and Meals-on-WheelsI
Ihave been represented by galleries in
Cod, and Denver, and have also exhibited in galleries in Ithaca, Syracuse,
Long Island, New York, Philadelphia, Tom’s River, NJ. Chautauqua, Auburn,
and Stony Brook.I have also had fifteen one-person shows.
work isin the permanent collections at the Herbert
F.Johnson Museum at Cornell, the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate , Kodak
Camera Club, SUNY Stony Brook, andprivate collections here and abroad.
For many years, I had exhibited my photography at
outdoor art festivals, but in 1989 I stopped. as I was rained on oncetoo often, and felt thatI am too nice a guy to subject myself to
that kind of grief.A “good” friend assured me that I was not(a wonderful put-down !)
the past thirty years, mycause
célèbre has been to try to make photography accepted as one of thefine arts. I had prepared a talk called
(tongue-in-cheek) CAN PHOTOGRAPHY BE A FINE ART, and had presented it nine
times, among the venues being Kodak Camera Club, Camera Rochester, RIT, and
a couple of art clubs. The three major art clubs would not accept
photography, and only one of the suburban clubs did.In 1986, I was the first photographer to be
invited to be a member of the Arena Art Group, the most progressive one of
the three major clubs, and since then, another few photographers have become
members.About twenty years later, I becamethe first photographer to be in the Print
Club of Rochester, also one of the majors.The third major, the Rochester Art Club,
the oldest, largest, and stodgiest,still refuses to allow good photography,
but does allow mediocre paintings.I have, so far unsuccessfully, tried to
have them change their bylaws to accept photography.
In 1989, I was one of the founders of the Artists’
Breakfast Group, which meets every Tuesday andis still going strong, but without me, as
in my old age, getting there by eight in the morning is unthinkable !
In 2005, I was one of the founding Partners of
Image City Photography Gallery, probably the only strictly photography
gallery in western New York State.We have been very successful in our goal of
attracting exhibitors who had very little opportunity for exhibition in
Rochester, which is touted as the“Imaging Center of the World”.Most of the photographers are regional, but
we also had exhibitors from New York, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Paris and
Israel.Currently I am a curator and in charge of
2003, 2005, and 2007, I ran a highly successful Salon des Refuses, which
accepted work rejected by the most prestigious Finger Lakes Exhibition, held
in the Memorial Art Gallery.It was not sour grapes for me, as I had
previously been accepted four times over a two decade period.
My images have
been published in Kodak’s THE ART OF SEEING and WINNING PICTURES, Alcove
Books’ AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR, in an elegant book called NEW YORK ART
REVIEW, in Kodakery, and in the local Gannett newspaper, in Rochester
Business Journal, and CITY Newspaper.
With regard to awards, I received two Best-of-Show
awards at an Invitational Art exhibit, held at the Everson Museum of Art in
Syracuse (that included eighteen hundred dollars which bought me some nice
photographic toys), a Best-of-Show at the New York State Fair, a first place
in prints at a New England Camera Club Council competition (many moons ago),
and most recently, a Best-of-Show at the Chautauqua National Exhibit of
American Art, in competition with over nine hundred works of art in all
media.After seeing the exhibit, I felt that I did
not deserve a Best-of-Show, but nevertheless, I accepted it graciously !
I define success as being in love with your work, and I feel I have
Image City Photography Gallery ♦ 722 University Avenue ♦ Rochester, NY 14607 ♦ 585.271.2540 In the heart of ARTWalk in the Neighborhood of the Arts