Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Daniel Farber, self-taught photographer

His business was leather, but his love was photography. On his gravestone are the words "Nature is my God" and his camera is carved over the shoulder of his marker, as if resting there a moment. Daniel Farber's works are in the permanent collection of 123 museums world wide, and he had numerous one man shows. Although he was self-taught, his "Reflections" show received rave reviews at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, as did his "Early American Gravestones" show at the AMFA and at Yale. When the Boston Aquarium opened, his stunning slides of reflections in water were mounted in their entry and his unforgettable macro images of flowers grace the walls of the Decorative and Fine Art division of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He was published in American Heritage, Popular Photography, Modern Photography, and Country Beautiful magazines, as well as on many classical record album covers. He was a prodigious photographer whose work is still widely collected. More than 1,400 dye transfer color prints, 34,000 gelatin silver prints, and 14,000 negatives produced by him are in the collections of U.S. museums and institutions. He was also one hell of a gardener, and one of my favorite uncles! Vintage images and his book, "Reflections of a Trail Taken" are available through this gallery.


Anita said...

Beverly, what a beautiful photograph. Can you give more details on the book? I'm fascinated by old gravestones. A site called LUNA Commons [] yields some great images when you search for Daniel Farber.

Beverly Kaye said...

One of Dan Farber's reflection photographs will be shown as the "Curator's Choice" at the Huntington Museum of Art in 2010.

EveT, Connecticut said...

At one time in the mid-1980s I was editing a U.S. history book and contacted Mr. Farber for a gravestone photo. He and his wife, Jessie Lye Farber, invited me to their home to see his gravestone photos. What a treat that was! I thought of Mr. Farber the other day when my local (Norwalk CT) paper ran a piece on cemetery preservation. I hope Mr. Farber's gravestone photos are accessible in an archive somewhere.

Beverly Kaye said...

Dan Farber's books and some of his photographs are still available at the gallery. And all of his photographs of the gravestones (I believe they number over 13,000) are available for research purposes, or just enjoyment, on the internet. I had the extreme pleasure of traveling to Turkey and the next year to Yugoslavia to document stones with the Farbers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Beverly,
The correct inscription on Dan's gravestone is:
Nature was his God
Kindness his way
Photography his art

His photographs are at the Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA

Frank Tessier