The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Artist:Louis (Lou) Bernstein, American, Born 1911;

Edward Steichen, Director of Photography, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, during the 1950’s, will be acknowledged in photographic history, as a person of prominence and influence
who inspired photography as a new and serious art medium, worldwide during the last century.

The magnitude of his personal forcefulness, energetic vitality, incalculable perseverance as the patriarch of the world acclaimed exhibition “The Family of Man”. The exhibit and the publication of the exhibition book, created a new respect and appreciation for photography, as a new and serious art form.

Through Edward Steichen’s visionary efforts, art history during the last 50 years has been expanded once more in the expression of art. Steichen was the architect of that change.

Edward Steichen was only one of the many notable friends and colleagues Lou Bernstein developed close relationships with. During the late forty’s through 1960’s, the serious photographic artists and photo journalists, seem to possess an infectious characteristic of attraction, that had drawn them together, scheduled at times, sometimes without apparent thought. New York was then perceived to be the photographic capital of the world during that era. New York was the environment and the core of the photographic movement, as we know it today.

Steichen encouraged Lou to submit his photography, for possible selection for “The Family of Man” exhibition.

Lou had two images selected to be included in “The Family of Man” a great tribute to him and his work by this achievement, in his early years.

Steichen continued to pursue Lou, to submit a portfolio of what Lou considered to be his important images of photography at that time, for consideration for acquisition for The Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection. Steichen selected 10 photographs, to be acquired by The Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent Collection.

Steichen later was the distinguished chairman for an exhibition in the late 1960’s, titled; “America’s Many Faces”, The theme was to “dramatize the multi-racial character of America” , and once again called upon Lou Bernstein to participate and exhibit his sensitive and creative photographic images.

Lou Bernstein has achieved over 187 diverse accolades during the last six and a half decades, with more to come on the horizon.
The International Center of Photography, New York
Artist; Louis (Lou) Bernstein, American, Born 1911

Mr. Cornell Capa, founder and Executive Director of The International Center of Photography, New York, will be recognized as a true photographic idealist and visionary.

Successful in his ambition and pursuits to create the first major foundation and institution, distinctively dedicated to the Photographic Arts. This exclusive establishments mission and goals are to exhibit, document and preserve the history of Photography as an Art.

Mr. Capa’s achievement is a major contribution to the history of 20th Century Photography. Through Mr. Capa’s energy, prowess and commitment, his vision has become a reality, and has been acknowledged by international prominence and enjoys an undisputed reputation in the world of photography.

Mr. Capa recognized Lou Bernstein’s contribution to photography, which has continued without intermission and without an interruption for over five decades in 1981. Mr. Capa honored Lou Bernstein’s legacy with two major exhibitions.

First in January 1981, Lou Bernstein; A Retrospective View, funded by a grant from The National Endowment For The Arts, Washington, D.C. then again in February 1992, Lou Bernstein; Five Decades of Photographs. The International Center of Photography extended an invitation to Lou Bernstein to lecture on his aesthetic approach to to photography as an art, during the shows exhibition period.

Cornell Capa, Executive Director and Miles Barth, Curator of Permanent Collections and Archives selected seventy-three of Lou’s photographic images, to be acquired for their Permanent Collection and Archives.

The work of Lou Bernstein will become part of the time capsule of the future, and will remain in the annals of the Photographic Arts, for years to come!
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Artist; Louis (Lou) Bernstein, American, Born 1911

The Museum of fine Arts, Houston, Texas is acknowledged to have assembled and possess, a unique and important continually expanding photographic collection. Specifically inclusive of an era of significant photographic history, nearly over looked for almost a quarter of a century. That era is known as “The Photo League”, which Lou Bernstein was one of its founding members.”The Photo League” was in existence from about 1936 through the early 1950’s.

The Museum of Fine Arts, had acquired sixty-seven vintage images of Lou Bernstein’s photographic legacy, for their Permanent Collection and Archives.

This has been received through the generosity of gifts by; Wolf Associates, with funds provided by the Polariod Foundation and a gift to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, by the Allan Chasanoff Photographic Collection.

The collection of “The Photo League”, composed under the direction of Anne Wilkes Tucker, a highly recognized scholar of photography, and an historian noted for her extensive knowledge of “The Photo League”. Anne Wilkes Tucker is an acclaimed author and educator.

Anne Wilkes Tucker, Gus and Lyndall Wortham, all distinguished curators, contribute many years of photographic expertise within the full spectrum and structure that encompasses the Permanent Collection and Archives of Photography at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas. “The Photo League” and Lou Bernstein’s sixty-five year contribution to photography, is a significant chapter to art history.

July 28, 2006
Irwin Bernstein
3668 Mykonos Court
Boca Raton, FL 33487

Dear Mr. Bernstein,

Here is our information about your father's photograph:

Lou Bernstein
American, 1911-2005
Rainbow, 1969
24 x 30.6 cm
Gelatin silver print
Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas: Museum Purchase, 1970.0063

Provenance: Purchased from the Witkin Gallery, New York on 8/10/1970.

Further correspondence to the museum would best be directed toward either of the following people (both of whom use the same mailing address shown below):

Steve Goddard
Senior Curator, Prints and Drawings

Brett Knappe
Photography Coordinator

Spencer Museum of Art
The University of Kansas
1301 Mississippi Lawrence, KS 66045

I hope this information helps you. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.


Kate Meyer
Curatorial Assistant, Prints and Drawings
Spencer Museum of Art

The University of Kansas, 1301 Mississippi Street, Lawrence, KS 66045-7500 USA
Telephone 785-864-4710, Fax 785-864-3112,
January 15, 2002 
Lou Bernstein
c/o Irwin Bernstein
3668 Mykonos Court

Dear Artist:

The Columbus Museum of Art has recently acquired one or several of your works of art. As you are aware, legal transfer of the work(s) to our collection does not automatically transfer the right of display and/or reproduction of your work(s) of art.
Enclosed, please find a letter of copyright agreement which we would like you to consider. This agreement allows the museum to place your work(s) on display, to document the work(s) photographically for our files, and to reproduce the work(s) for publicity or educational purposes. This agreement does NOT allow the museum to reproduce the work(s) for sale purposes or to release the image(s) to any third party publisher without your express permission. Please strike out any sections that do not meet your approval and return the signed and dated form to the Registrar. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Elizabeth Hopkin
Associate Registrar
June 27, 2006
Irwin Bernstein 3668 Mykonos Court Boca Raton, ¥L 33487
Dear Mr. Bernstein:
Thank you for your letter of June 22, 2006, and your telephone message of the same day. Enclosed please find catalogue records of the three works by Lou Bernstein in the permanent collection of the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. As you can see, all three were gifts of W. Eugene Smith in 1978.
I hope this information assists you in compiling a survey of Mr. Bernstein's career.
Britt Salvesen
February 18, 2009
Irwin Bernstein
The Estate of Lou Bernstein
Dear Mr. Bernstein:
Thank you for your request for information about the two Lou Bernstein photographs
that The Jewish Museum received as gifts from Howard Greenberg. These photographs
were presented at the Museum’s Photography Acquisition Committee meeting on
May 28, 2008, and they were approved for acquisition by the Board of Trustees on
June 17, 2008. Please note that at this time we have not yet had a chance to research
And catalogue these works fully.
Lou Bernstein
Untitled (figure with a clown make-up,masks on left). 1949
Silver gelatin print
8 ½ X 11 3/8 in.
The Jewish Museum, New York
Gift of Howard Greenberg, 2008-161
Lou Bernstein
Untitled (rooftop, 116 Fulton St.), 1951
Silver gelatin print
9 ¼ X 13 in.
The Jewish Museum, New York
Gift of Howard Greenberg, 2008-162
If you have any additional information about these photographs, we would appreciate your sharing it with us. You may send any updates or changes to the attention of Katherine Danalakis, Assistant Cataloguer
Gabriel de Guzman
Curatorial Assistant
Lou Bernstein (1911 - 2005)
C o l u m b u s   M u s e u m   o f   A r t
480 East Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43215-3886
telephone   614.221.6801 facsimile    614.221.0226
Father and Children on blanket by Lou Bernstein
Jazz Still Life by Lou Bernstein
Dancers in Shadows by Lou Bernstein