WESTPORT, Conn. -- Photographer Larry Silver has been taking pictures life in Westport since he moved to town 40 years ago, and a retrospective of his work is now on display in a new exhibit at the Westport Historical Society .
Featuring more than 50 black and white images from the past four decades, "Westport Visions" depicts the downtown area, the parks, the beaches and the people of Westport. Silver grew up in the Bronx, N.Y., and moved to town in 1973. What he found in Westport was very different from his experiences growing up in the city.
"I saw so many wonderful things happening, I decided to photograph and document the lifestyle," Silver said. "It's been really a pleasure to wander the streets of this town and there's so many things happening here, the sports, activities, the different things going on, it's a whole world of pictures that I've taken and could have taken."
Silver began photography at the age of 12 when his mother gave him a camera as a gift. He attended the School of Industrial Art in New York and later the Art Center School in Los Angeles. His work, including photos of Westport, has been included in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum. the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The majority of the silver gelatin photographs were shot with a 35 millimeter Nikon camera and developed by Silver at his studio in New York. He said he likes to design his shot with his camera.
"The subject and background and where I place my subject within the design are very important to me," he said.
The exhibit opened Thursday to a packed crowd of friends and fans of Silver's work, who came out to celebrate his art.
"Larry's amazing photographs are really a testament to our community's diversity and its desire to celebrate and appreciate the past," said Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe. "At the same time, it helps us shape our vision of the future, it gives us a template to emulate as we change."
"Westport Visions" will be on display at the Westport Historical Society, at 25 Avery Place, through Oct. 18. For more information, visit the website or call 203-222-1424.