A River Romance
A photo-essay by Peekskill photographer, Joseph Squillante
Joseph Squillante remembers his first “date” with the Hudson River. “It was 1975,” says the Peekskill resident. “I was helping a friend work on his new house on the riverfront in Tivoli. I was a novice photographer; I had a Honeywell Spotmatic camera.” During work breaks, he shot some black-and-white photos of the watery landscape, and was awed by the results. “The Hudson offered me these intense, majestic, grand images. That’s what connected me to the river.”
Soon the Bronx native found himself in a full-fledged love affair with the Hudson, its towns, and their inhabitants. Since then, it has been his “mission,” he says, to “raise awareness of the beauty of the Hudson River through photography.” With images taken from towering mountains and quiet coves, aboard ships and alongside factories, he offers a view of the region that is both romantic and timeless.
Several museums are showcasing these evocative photos during this Quadricentennial year. Life Along the Hudson: Photographs by Joseph Squillante, on view at the Albany Institute of History and Art, features 30 of the lensman’s pictures (through Jan. 3). And several of his works are included in Dutch New York: The Roots of Hudson Valley Culture at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers (through Jan. 10).
The following gallery offers a sampling of Squillante’s life’s work; the photographer’s comments regarding each image are included in accompanying captions. His passion for his subject is plainly evident in both words and pictures. “As much as I enjoy doing other types of photography, the river has enveloped me. I can’t give it up, no matter what.”