Jan. 5, 2002 – To mark the 10th anniversary of the death of world-renowned St. Croix photographer Fritz Henle, the Maria Henle Studio is mounting an exhibition of 38 of his classic black and white photographs that will open for this week's ArtThursday galleries open house event and hang through the end of January.
Fritz Henle, the father of Maria Henle, had a rich career spanning 65 years in which he made his mark as a fashion, portraiture, photojournalism and industrial documentation photographer. Born in Dortmund, Germany, he worked early in his career throughout Europe and the Mediterranean as well as in India, China, Japan and Mexico. In 1937, he traveled to New York, where he established his studio and his reputation as an eminent photographer.
He first came to the Virgin Islands in 1948, for a fashion shoot that had been scheduled for Venezuela but was diverted by a coup. He returned to the territory on assignment several times in the early '50s, producing its first photographic book and a promotional film, "The American Virgin Islands."
Smitten by the island of St. Croix, "he sold his darkroom in New York in 1958 — to Czech friends who would process and print his work — to move here," Maria Henle relates, "and bought the land on which he built our house in 1959." Although his photography continued to take him to all corners of the Earth, he resided on St. Croix for the rest of his life.
Fritz Henle, who worked exclusively with Rolleiflex cameras, won international acclaim for his keen sense of composition and exceptional technique. His work appeared in countless major publications included Life magazine, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Town and Country and The New York Times. He published 19 books of his photographs, the last, in 1975, on Pablo Casals.
His daughter has selected images for this commemorative exhibition that range from 1928 Germany through the Caribbean in the 1960s. The Maria Henle Studio is located at 55 Company Street in Christiansted. For additional information, call 773-7386.
January ArtThursday offerings
This week brings the first ArtThursday of the new year. The seven participating Christiansted galleries and artisan shops staying open for the monthly art walk-about from 5 to 9 p.m. will offer the following enticements to art appreciators:
Christiansted Gallery — works by Sue Snow.
Danica Art Gallery — works by Dino di Natale.
Gallery Gia — solo show of photography by Lee Lashley.
Maria Henle Studio — classic black and white photographs by Fritz Henle.
ib Designs — wearable art.
Iona Skye Gallery — photographic transfer by Sarah Cole and steel sculpture by Don Gialanella.
Jewelweed — good luck opals: charms and talismans.
As a sponsor of ArtThursday, Mondavi wines, distributed by Bellows International, will be offering specials at nine restaurants that invite art-walk patrons to stop by on Thursday evening: Bombay Club, Indies, Kendrick's, Paradise Café, Restaurant Bacchus, Tannins, Tivoli Gardens, Top Hat and Tutto Bene.
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