Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz accepts gift of 29 photographs from collection of Howard Greenberg

SUNY New Paltz has received a donation of photographs by two of the most significant New York-based photographers of the 20th century, which will be added to the permanent collection of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.

The works come from the collection of Howard Greenberg, a longtime friend of the College and The Dorsky Museum, and have been accepted by the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, which coordinates philanthropic contributions for the enrichment of academic activities at the College.

Greenberg’s gift includes 14 images from Aaron Siskind’s “Harlem Document,” and 15 images from Joel Meyerowitz’s “Cape Cod” series.

Howard Greenberg

“We are thrilled to be able to add these beautiful photographs to our collection,” said Sara Pasti, the Neil C. Trager Director of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art. “They are certain to be used by faculty and students on a regular basis in the years to come and will be included in museum exhibitions. We cannot thank Howard enough for his extraordinary generosity to the museum and the College.”

Howard Greenberg is a leading authority on 19th and 20th century photography, the founder of the Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW), and a 2012 recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the George Eastman House.

Greenberg has been a friend of The Dorsky Museum since its inception. His creation of an endowment to support photographic exhibitions, catalogues and conservation at the museum led to the naming of the Howard Greenberg Family Gallery on his behalf, and his numerous donations have come to comprise nearly half of the museum’s photography collection.

The present gift focuses on works by two major photographers of the 20th century:

Aaron Siskind (1903-1991) was one of the most important and influential artists of his time. He began his career as a social documentary photographer under the auspices of the New York Photo League. His most notable work during this period was the “Harlem Document,” a moving series of portraits and scenes of street and home life in Harlem taken between 1932 and 1940.

Joel Meyerowitz (1938- ) was already a renowned New York street photographer in 1976 when he decided to trade his 35mm for an 8-by-10, large-format camera and try photographing on Cape Cod, where he spent summers. The slower pace of life on the Massachusetts cape, combined with the heavy, complicated camera, made for a dramatic change in his photographic process.

The photographs Meyerowitz produced for this series – mostly landscapes that showcased the area’s natural beauty through several seasons – were unlike any he’d produced before. They are acclaimed for their use of color and their appreciation of light, which transform everyday scenes of homes, beaches, and streets into something otherworldly. Selections from the series were eventually published in 1979’s “Cape Light,” which became an instant classic.

These new additions to The Dorsky’s permanent collection can be viewed in the searchable collections database of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art:

About the SUNY New Paltz Foundation
Founded in 1976, the Foundation works to enrich the quality of academic life at SUNY New Paltz by raising private contributions. Gifts to the Foundation enhance the teaching, learning, and discovery that takes place on campus, and allow New Paltz to enrich the cultural, economic and social fabric of the Mid-Hudson region. There is virtually no activity on campus that does not benefit from the gifts made to the Foundation and to the endowment. One hundred percent of donated funds are used for programs that benefit students.

For more information about the SUNY New Paltz Foundation, please visit

About The Dorsky Museum
Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz supports and enriches the academic programs at the college, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara, historic Woodstock artists Eugene Speicher and Charles Rosen, and Hudson Valley luminaries Russel Wright and Dick Polich.

Museum Hours:
Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions.

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit, or call (845) 257-3844.