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Seizing the Moment

Set your eyes on action images that transformed early 20th century photography.

About the exhibit:

Experience the evolution of action photography in never before seen images by Edwin Levick and Morris Rosenfeld from the Museum’s Horace Havemeyer III Collection. These unique prints capture the transformation of marine photography from a documentary approach to an artistic perspective. The Havemeyer Collection includes vintage photographs by early 20th-century master marine photographers Edwin Levick and Morris Rosenfeld, who were influential competitors with a shared passion for action photography. 

This one-of-a-kind maritime collection was donated to The Mariners’ Museum in 2015 as a significant gift in memory of Horace Havemeyer III, a native of New York and an avid sailor. Havemeyer’s grandfather purchased these photographs from Levick and Rosenfeld, and over the years, they were passed down to his son and then on to his grandson, Horace III, who founded Metropolis magazine in 1981. He served as its president until he died in 2014. His wife, Eugenie C. Havemeyer, is now at the helm of this publication, considered the vanguard of architecture and design today.

What you’ll experience:

  • Learn how action photography developed and what methods Levick and Rosenfeld used to capture movement and excitement of boats at sea.
  • See the evolution of action photography in a timeline showing exciting works by contemporary photographers in our Collection.
  • See gelatin silver prints by early 20th-century master marine photographers Edwin Levick and Morris Rosenfeld.
  • Witness the artistic beginnings of what has become a common style of taking pictures – the immediacy and exhilaration of action photography.
Deck of the Henry Ford,
October 1, 1922
Morris Rosenfeld, photographer
The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Horace Havemeyer III Collection

See the extraordinary images from this exhibit online.


Image Header:
The photographer was perched on the bowsprit to capture this dramatic view, c. 1915.
Edwin Levick photographer. The Mariners’ Museum and Park, Horace Havemeyer III Collection
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