About this Catalog
This catalog is a personal project to share my collected Saul Leiter artworks and some photographs that I took of him. The range of his work from photography to painting is only recently reaching a wider audience from the efforts of Howard Greenberg at the Howard Greenberg Gallery and Margit Erb at the Saul Leiter Foundation. My goal is to honor and add to this effort by sharing those works that I own. All works presented here are copyrighted and permission must be obtained for their reproduction. For information about this site email to:
How I met Saul
I met Saul in 1977 while working as an assistant for Alen McWeeney, another New York commercial photographer. At that time the rent was increasing on his 156 5th Ave studio so he agreed to share it with Alen. Saul's studio was centrally located on 5th Avenue between 28th and 14th Streets in an area that was generally known as the photo-district. Many commercial photographers had studios located there. Alen was quite handy with tools, as was I, so the three of us spent a few months improving Saul’s studio with scrappers, spackle, and paint. Saul's studio was not large but was charming with a staircase leading to an attic with a large skylight - the perfect painter's loft. It was located on the top of the building, the penthouse.
Our friendship grew out of my days fixing and working on his studio while occasionally addressing his and Soames household repair issues. Soames was his domestic partner and muse. My interests in book binding, photography, photographic printing, and my availability to sit for hours with him at various coffee stops that dotted our travels around New York also helped. Saul was a brilliant conversationalist and loved to relax from the bustle of New York City life, usually in the nearest convenient coffee shop. Chock-Full-O-Nuts was a favorite at that time. We talked a lot and he drank inordinate amounts of coffee morning, noon, and night. It is an understatement to say that Saul loved coffee. He drank more than anyone I've ever met and it didn't seem to affect him one way or the other.
Anyone who spent time with Saul soon knew that they were quite lucky to be allowed into his very private life. Rare was the chance for a person to sit in his apartment and listen to an endless set of stories and life’s lessons often mixed with rabbinical advice and thoughtful criticism. Saul was immensely charming with a mischievous, infectious, and irrepressible sense of humor. He was also a master of disarming a guest with a dozen pointed questions during which he judged their sense of honesty and willingness to participate in candid dialog. He didn't suffer fools well but he was very easy to be honest with. A day with Saul was something that was never boring, often inspiring, and frequently, quite a lot of fun.