Born in Philadelphia in 1931, Berry Feinstein was an only child and dropped out after a year at the University of Miami. He discovered his photographic ability while taking pictures at at the Atlantic City racetrack, where he worked in 1955. He joined LIFE as a photographic assistant but soon relocated to Los Angeles.
Working as a production assistant at Columbia Pictures, he carried a camera and took unlikely photos of the studio parking lots and the Hollywood sign from the back – "the part of Hollywood that nobody thinks about or looks at," as he put it. Promoted to studio photographer, he took pictures of Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, Charlton Heston and Jayne Mansfield, accompanied Marlon Brando to a civil rights rally in 1963 and photographed Steve McQueen on the set of Bullitt. Feinstein favored an instinctive approach and excelled at the unexpected. When Magnum sent him to cover Marilyn Monroe's death in 1962, he zoomed in on the bottle of pills by her bedside.
He was a photographer, camera-man, graphic designer, and art director who created many of the entertainment industry’s most compelling and iconic images. His work has appeared in countless publications including LIFE, Look, Time, Esquire, Newsweek, GQ, Rolling Stone, Mojo and The New York Times. Most famous for his album cover artwork, Feinstein is responsible for nearly 500 cover shoots including the classics All Things Must Pass
by George Harrison, Pearl
by Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton’s first solo album, Ringo
by Ringo Starr, The Times They Are a Changin’
by Bob Dylan, and Mr. Tambourine Man
by The Byrds.
Feinstein was the exclusive photographer on Dylan’s legendary 1966 European tour and again for Dylan and The Band’s 1974 US tour. As a cameraman, he documented the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, produced and directed the cult classic "You Are What You Eat" and was a cameraman and official photographer for George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Barry was an innovator in all that he did whether it was photography, art direction, graphic design, or film. Nowhere is this more apparent than with his now legendary hand-held cinema-photography for the film "Easy Rider" in 1969. In would be another 30 years before similar camera work was seen again in a major motion picture.
During his lengthy and varied career, Feinstein received over thirty US and international art director and photo-journalism awards, including being nominated for an Emmy for his Ike & Tina album cover. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the National Portrait Gallery, London; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Columbus Museum, Georgia; National Portrait Gallery, Scotland; Gibbes Museum of Art in South Carolina and the Hunter Museum in Tennessee.
He passed away in 2011 after a lengthy illness in Woodstock, New York, where he had lived for many years with his wife, the artist Judith Jamison. He left a small archive of signed photographs which are now offered for sale, please contact us for prices and availability.
Estate Authorized editions are also available of his photographs. These photographs will be embossed with the estate seal on the reverse and are signed and each photograph will also be accompanied by a label that was hand-signed by Barry Feinstein.