Deceased , Historic



1913 - 2002

Stanley Rosenfeld, like his father, Morris (a National Sailing Hall of Famer), before him, amassed over his lifetime a vast collection of what would become iconic photographs of the yachting world.


At an early age, Stanley Zachary Rosenfeld worked with his father in the world of marine photography. He attended two years at New York University on Washington Square in Manhattan until he began to work at the studio full time in the early 1930s. In 1939, he married Ruth Landesman (1918-1979) and moved to Manhattan. They had two sons, Richard and Jonathan.

Stanley worked in the field and in the darkroom. From an early age, he drove the Rosenfeld chase boat, FOTO. In World War II, Stanley became a combat photographer in the Pacific. After the war, he continued at the Rosenfeld studio at a time when marine photography became more interesting with the postwar burst of work.

Upon Morris’ death in 1968, Stanley continued the business as M. Rosenfeld and Sons. In the late 1960s, Ruth Rosenfeld began to assist her husband not only in the office, but out on the water, sometimes driving the chase boat. Ruth fell ill in the early 1970s and died in 1979. In 1981, Stanley elected to close the studio, putting the collection in storage. The collection, which comprises images from 1881 to 1981, was offered for sale and bought by Mystic Seaport in 1984.

Stanley continued working and spent more time abroad. This led to a chance meeting with his future wife, Heather Hanley, an amateur photographer and travel writer and they were married in 1986. Stanley’s travels have taken him through the waterways of Europe and most of the European countries. In addition, he has visited Haiti, Turkey, Scandinavia, the Caribbean, the Galapagos and has spent significant time in Italy. He has traveled widely in the U.S. and Canada.

The fascinating collection of color transparencies by Stanley contains a wide range of subjects. Mystic Seaport is the repository of many of these approximately 200,000 to 250,000 images belonging to him and they are kept in archival storage under a licensing agreement.

Stanley Rosenfeld was a prolific writer. His book A Century Under Sail, first published in 1984, has been through various printings. It was written as a tribute to black and white marine photography. It covers 100 years of maritime history and change, and is a unique photographic record. A Century Under Sail was recently reprinted in hard cover by Mystic Seaport.

A Partial List of Books by Stanley Rosenfeld (or featuring his work)

  • Beiser, Arthur. (Photography by Stanley Rosenfeld) The Sailor’s World. 1978. Print.
  • Carrick, Robert W., and Stanley Z Rosenfeld. Defending the America’s Cup as Told by the Men Who Did It. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1969. Print.
  • Rosenfeld, Stanley. 23rd Challenge in Quest of the America’s Cup. American Crest, 1977. Print.
  • Rosenfeld, Stanley. A Century Under Sail. Mystic Seaport Museum, 1970. Print.
  • Rosenfeld, Stanley. A Point of View.  Mystic Seaport Museum, 2005. Print.


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