José A. Betancourt
Lion's Gate, Caretaker's House, 2002 (detail)

Half-frame photograph


The Lost Houses of Yonkers

José A. Betancourt
Half-frame Photographs and
Photographs from the Permanent Collection of the Hudson River Museum
February 8 - May 18, 2003


The Lost Houses of Yonkers commingles the museum's nineteenth-century photographs of turn-of-the century Yonkers homes and estates with new photographs by José A. Betancourt. Working with the museum's curators and local historians, Betancourt investigated photographs from the museum collection, and then, going to Yonkers homes, photographed what changes have occurred to them since they were built. Betancourt uses an Olympus Pen FT "half-frame" camera, which doubles the number of exposures in a typical roll of 36-exposure film. The artist uses the camera's unique properties to shoot a panoramic view by making a series of continuous shots of a site, creating a familiar but subtly shifting half-frame landscape. Yonkers homes photographed for the exhibition include photographer Rudolf Eickemeyer's, the Flagg Mansion, Alder Manor, Untermyer Park estates and Robin Lawn.