Issue #199  11/4/2013
AIPAD Dealer Martin Weinstein's Gifts To Minneapolis Institute Of Art On Exhibit

By Alex Novak

Minneapolis gallerist and long-time AIPAD member Martin Weinstein is being recognized for his generosity and the longevity of his support to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA).

In an exhibit entitled "31 Years: Gifts from Martin Weinstein", the museum will display about 70 of the over 500 photographs that Weinstein has given to the institution. In addition to the photographs, Weinstein has gifted paintings, prints and sculptures to MIA. The show will be on display in the museum's Harrison Photography Gallery from November 2, 2013 until August 31, 2014. The museum is at 2400 3rd Ave. S. in Minneapolis (612-870-3000). A catalog on the exhibit has been published under the same name and is available from the museum for $20 each.

As the invitation to the show's reception notes: "The photographs chosen for the exhibition are more than masterpieces. They are stories, sometimes personal, sometimes historical, and sometimes central to the MIA as the story of the long friendship between Martin and the late Ted Hartwell, the MIA's founding curator of photography." As Weinstein was to tell a Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter: "Ted and I advocated for the acceptance of photography as a fine art. That is something that I fought for very strongly early on. At the time I started collecting, there were very few photography galleries, and contemporary collectors bought little photography. Now, of course, photography is the thing for museums to collect. That's a battle I've waged for 35, 40 years."

I should tell you that I met Martin over 11 years ago at the Armory Photography Show at the Jacob Javits Center. His booth was diagonally across from ours. We struck up a conversation during the downtime during the show and instantly hit it off. He's been my good friend ever since. As many of his clients and fellow dealers will tell you, he is one of the most honest and generous people you'll ever have the pleasure to meet, so I'm particularly happy that at least some of that generosity is being recognized by the MIA and even the Minneapolis press. But I will also say that his reputation is international in nature. He is recognized as one of the top contemporary galleries in the world.

You should take a glance at the major article on Martin and his contributions to Minneapolis and photography, which you can see by clicking here: http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/stageandarts/229171981.html . As noted artist Alec Soth says in the article, "He (Martin) has a giant personality, but he will drop any sale to play with a child. He loves selling, but he doesn't love money. He loves art, really loves it, but he loves sharing it more."

Novak has over 45 years experience in the photography-collecting arena. He is a long-time member and formally board member of the Daguerreian Society, and, when it was still functioning, he was a member of the American Photographic Historical Society (APHS). He organized the 2016 19th-century Photography Show and Conference for the Daguerreian Society. He is also a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers. Novak has been a member of the board of the nonprofit Photo Review, which publishes both the Photo Review and the Photograph Collector, and is currently on the Photo Review's advisory board. He was a founding member of the Getty Museum Photography Council. He is author of French 19th-Century Master Photographers: Life into Art.

Novak has had photography articles and columns published in several newspapers, the American Photographic Historical Society newsletter, the Photograph Collector and the Daguerreian Society newsletter. He writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter, the largest circulation newsletter in the field. Novak is also president and owner of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, a private photography dealer, which sells by appointment and at exhibit shows, such as AIPAD New York and Miami, Art Chicago, Classic Photography LA, Photo LA, Paris Photo, The 19th-century Photography Show, etc.