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Parting Shot: Fred Stein 

click to enlarge "Einstein Princeton" 1946, Fred Stein. - FRED STEIN
  • Fred Stein
  • "Einstein Princeton" 1946, Fred Stein.

Fred Stein turned to photography in 1933 to support his family after fleeing Nazi Germany. He wound up a pioneer of the small Leica camera. The Leica's mobility allowed him to roam the streets, spontaneously documenting the lives of the people he met, first in Paris, then in New York City. There was no pretension in Stein's approach—he observed people living in poverty and in luxury with the same sensibility and curiosity, combined with a knack for capturing complex episodes in a single frame. Stein would adapt this new technique to his studio, where he was able to capture the same striking intimacy in portraits of larger-than-life figures such as Marlene Dietrich, Salvador Dali, and iconic photos of Albert Einstein. A retrospective of his work, Fred Stein: Paris New York, was published in 2013 by Kehrer. His son, Peter Stein, will host a screening of his new short film about his father's life and work at Oblong Books & Music in Rhinebeck on August 3. (845) 876-0500; Oblongbooks.com.

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