Fine Art Photography Daily

In Conversation: The Photographs of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski


©Alice Austen, [Grandfather trimming Dutchman’s Pipe], May 4, 1891, Courtesy of Alice Austen House.


©Christine Osinski, Men Fixing a House in West Brighton, 1983-1984

Although the world has changed dramatically over the past century, there are some things that have remained very much the same. A new exhibition makes that point with a series of photographs by two photographers who captured daily life on Staten Island one hundred years apart. Each illustrated the streets and domestic environments of the borough, providing a record of what life was like during their respective times and each carried with them a 4×5 camera, film, and heavy equipment to document their subjects. As with most vernacular photographs, the patina of time adds a deeper resonance to the ordinary and the every day and these pairings are a wonderful example of those qualities.

The exhibition, In Conversation: The Photographs of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski, opens today,  Sunday, September 18 running through December 23, 2016 at the Alice Austen House in Staten Island. This exhibition has been specially curated by Christine Osinski, who presents her work alongside photographs by the early American photographer, Alice Austen.

The museum is hosting an Opening Reception on Sunday, September 18 from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. with a Members’ Preview Hour from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. Osinski will also lead a photowalk through Staten Island’s Rosebank neighborhood, close to Austen’s historic home, on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00 – 12:00 p.m. For registration and more information visit:


©Alice Austen, [Violet Ward and Friend], ca.1895, Courtesy of Alice Austen House

Two Girls with Matching Outfits

©Christine Osinski, Two Girls with Matching Outfits, 1983-1984

The work of Alice Austen and Christine Osinski, almost one hundred years apart, comprise a candid look at life on Staten Island. While Osinski’s photographs from the early 1980s provide a glimpse of the “forgotten borough,” creating a portrait of working class culture in the least populated section of New York City, Austen’s photographs detail what life was like in Staten Island 100 years before, depicting the activities of her friends and family. Separated by time and distance, the work of both artists bear marked similarities in subject matter and approach.


©Alice Austen, [Self-Portrait with Bicycle], 1897, Courtesy of Alice Austen House


©Christine Osinski, Boy on Bicycle, 1983-1984

Christine Osinski received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Yale University. She currently teaches at The Cooper Union For The Advancement of Science and Art, in New York City. In 2005, Osinski became a Guggenheim Fellow. Osinski’s work has been included in recent exhibitions at The Brooklyn Museum; The National Portrait Gallery; The Portland Art Museum, Oregon; The New York Public Library; and Sasha Wolf Gallery, NYC. Her photographs can be found in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Portland Art Museum, Oregon; La Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University; and in numerous other museums and collections.

Last year, Osinski published a selection of her work in Summer Days, Staten Island (Damiani, 2015).

This exhibition is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

About Alice Austen House – The Alice Austen House honors the legacy of Alice Austen (1866-1952), an early American photographer and an inspiring ‘modern woman’ of the Victorian age, by offering ongoing exhibitions of her life and work and of contemporary photography; by delivering educational programs for New York City schoolchildren; and by hosting a range of public arts programs. The Alice Austen House and grounds are owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, operated by the Friends of Alice Austen House Inc 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and a member of Historic House Trust. The Alice Austen House is designated a New York City and National Landmark, on the National Register of Historic Places, and a member of the distinguished Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.


Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

NEXT | >
< | PREV