Len Speier, b. 1927, was taken with photography from the time his uncle gave him a primitive film developing kit on his 13th Birthday. Despite college, a stint in the Army on Occupation Duty in Japan, followed by Law School and a private practice, he returned to his first love, the photo arts, and has been so engaged for over 40 years.
For Speier, photography is the art of exclusion, the power to create through the camera what is desired to be revealed. It is the seren-dipitous confluence of the eye, brain, sensitivity and the action of the finger on the shutter release. Speier aims to capture humanism and social reality in his work. In addition to photographing extensively in New York, and in various parts of the world, including China, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Denmark, Surinam and Japan, Speier is also an educator, and has taught photography for many years at The New School, New York University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, before retiring in 2006. Speiers also mentored gifted high school children in photography for the NAACP program entitled, “ACT-SO” for 10 years.
He has an extensive exhibition record and has been the recipient of several awards, and has work in many collections, including the Permanent Collection of the International Center of Photography; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of the City of New York; and the Photo Archive of the NY Public Library. His work has also been published in textbooks, compilations, gallery catalogs magazines, advertisements and book jackets.