The Italians, of which this exhibition is eponymous, was published in 2011, five years after the world-famous Magnum photographer's death. The work that it encompasses was a lifetime pursuit of Freed – he once referred to his relationship with Italy as a 'love story'.
Early in his professional work Leonard Freed discovered New York City’s Little Italy and then later throughout his long career he made more than forty-five trips to Italy. The images capture the joys of childhood, love, marriage, and the celebration of family and food. Freed wrote: "If it is true that a nation’s reputation for hospitality comes from its natives, Italy will always be at the top of my list… There is an Italian saying: ‘When you sit at my table you are a member of the family.’ How true.”
The Directors of Leica Gallery have worked closely with Leonard Freed's widow, Brigitte, to curate this posthumous exhibition.
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