I apologize for the length of this bio, but I have lived a long time, and have done many things.
At age11, I attended a WPA art school in New York City to learn how to paint. The instructor told me that I was good technically, but lacked imagination. At that point, I decided to become a scientist, and eventually became one.
At 16, photography discovered me, when my brother gave me his 1933 Rolleiflex. I developed a real taste for photography and have been savoring it ever since.
While at Columbia College, I was very active in the camera club. I became Chairman of Experimental Workshops, and later, President. During my college years, I was a photography counselor in private camps for two summers. I graduated Magna Cum Laude in chemistry, and a Phi Beta Kappa key.
The next few harrowing years were spent at the University of Rochester getting a PhD in Physical Chemistry and in the army, so my photographic career was put on hold.
I was then hired by Kodak and worked there as a photographic scientist for thirty-one happy years, with fascinating research and free film. I formed a symbiotic relationship between my two great loves, the scientific and aesthetic aspects of photography, both of which required creativity. My favorite compliment at the time was that I exhibited a nice blend of right- and left-brain activity. I was voted the second most creative researcher in the Color Photography Division, was the first scientist to be sent for a year to the research laboratories in Paris to collaborate with our French colleagues.
While at Kodak, I became very active in the Kodak Camera Club, chose the judges for over fifteen years. and won gold medals in the Kodak and the Rochester International Salons of Photography.
In the eighties, I attended three Master Classes in Color Photography at the Maine Photographic Workshops, and that was very exciting…. we ate drank and slept photography for a solid week. I had some great teachers there, among them Sam Abel, a National Photographic Photographer, and Jay Maisel who is a wonderful photographer and quite a character.
Before retiring from Kodak in 1986, I joined Camera Rochester, have been choosing judges there for the past thirty years, and am still an enthusiastic member. Speaking of judging, I have done that for camera clubs in Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester, and two summer festivals, Art in the Garden at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua, and the Park Avenue Festival in Rochester.
After retiring, I had more free time, and it was spent pretty much all on photography. I started doing photography for artists and craftsmen, and did that for twenty years. It was fun, I met many interesting people, saw some excellent art, and even made some money. Among my clients (mostly from Rochester, but also from Buffalo, Ithaca, Binghamton, and Syracuse) were professors and students at the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The high point in that endeavor was when a professor and a graduate student in glass, were selected, based on my photography, to be in the top one hundred glass craftsmen in the world in a competition run and judged by Corning.
I also did a lot of pro-bono photography for not-for-profits, such as Jordan Health Center, Regional Council on Aging, Rochester Area Foundation, Eastern Service Workers Association, Community Place, and Meals-on-Wheels
I have been represented by galleries in Rochester, Honeoye
Falls, Cape Cod, and Denver, and have also exhibited in galleries in Ithaca, Syracuse, Long Island, New York, Philadelphia, Tom’s River, NJ. Chautauqua, Auburn, and Stony Brook. I have also had fifteen one-person shows.
My work is in the permanent collections at the Herbert Johnson Museum at Cornell, the Picker Art Gallery at Colgate, Kodak Camera Club, SUNY Stony Brook, and private collections here and abroad.
For many years, I had exhibited my photography at outdoor art festivals, but in 1989 I stopped. as I was rained on once too often, and felt that I am too nice a guy to subject myself to that kind of grief. A “good” friend assured me that I was not (a wonderful put-down!)
For the past thirty years, my cause célèbre has been to try to make photography accepted as one of the fine arts. I had prepared a talk called (tongue-in-cheek) CAN PHOTOGRAPHY BE A FINE ART, and had presented it nine times, among the venues being Kodak Camera Club, Camera Rochester, RIT, and a couple of art clubs. The three major art clubs would not accept photography, and only one of the suburban clubs did. In 1986, I was the first photographer to be invited to be a member of the Arena Art Group, the most progressive one of the three major clubs, and since then, another few photographers have become members. About twenty years later, I became the first photographer to be in the Print Club of Rochester, also one of the majors. The third major, the Rochester Art Club, the oldest, largest, and stodgiest, still refuses to allow good photography, but does allow mediocre paintings. I have, so far unsuccessfully, tried to have them change their bylaws to accept photography.
In 1989, I was one of the founders of the Artists’ Breakfast Group, which meets every Tuesday and is still going strong, but without me, as in my old age, getting there by eight in the morning is unthinkable!
In 2005, I was one of the founding Partners of Image City Photography Gallery, probably the only strictly photography gallery in western New York State. We have been very successful in our goal of attracting exhibitors who had very little opportunity for exhibition in Rochester, which is touted as the “Imaging Center of the World”. Most of the photographers are regional, but we also had exhibitors from New York, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, Paris and Israel. Currently I am a curator and in charge of Public Relations.
In 2003, 2005, and 2007, I ran a highly successful Salon des Refuses, which accepted work rejected by the most prestigious Finger Lakes Exhibition, held in the Memorial Art Gallery. It was not sour grapes for me, as I had previously been accepted four times over a two-decade period.
My images have been published in Kodak’s THE ART OF SEEING and WINNING PICTURES, Alcove Books’ AMERICAN ART COLLECTOR, in an elegant book called NEW YORK ART REVIEW, in Kodakery, and in the local Gannett newspaper, in Rochester Business Journal, and CITY Newspaper.
With regard to awards, I received two Best-of-Show awards at an Invitational Art exhibit, held at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse (that included eighteen hundred dollars which bought me some nice photographic toys), a Best-of-Show at the New York State Fair, a first place in prints at a New England Camera Club Council competition (many moons ago), and most recently, a Best-of-Show at the Chautauqua National Exhibit of American Art, in competition with over nine hundred works of art in all media. After seeing the exhibit, I felt that I did not deserve a Best-of-Show, but nevertheless, I accepted it graciously!
My exhibits have been reviewed a number of times, and my two favorites are “…the current exhibition includes Bill Brandt…Harry Callahan…..other well known contemporary photographers include Dan Neuberger…..they share a common concern for excellence in execution in the manner of Durer’s crisp etchings and Rembrandt’s lively surfaces….(Dr. Dewey Mosby, Director, Picker Art Gallery) “ and “…The best series of works in the show reminds me of Aaron Siskind….the result is an amazingly rich visual texture that carries the torch of Abstract Expressionist paintings into photography…there is an extraordinary talent evident in Neuberger’s general attitude and output (Dr. Robert Morgan, Professor of Art History at the University of Rochester)”
This past spring, I had a solo show at Image City, and there was a one-page review in CITY Newspaper. Since we are celebrating our tenth anniversary, there was an article in 55 PLUS, featuring Partner Betsy Phillips and me, and a two page spread in the Sunday Democrat & Chronicle newspaper, featuring Partners Gary and Phyllis Thompson, and me.
In conclusion, I define success as being in love with your work, and I feel I have always been, and still am, a very successful person.