Romaniote Memories: A Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan: Photographs by Vincent Giordano

About the Photographer

Vincent Giordano was a photographer and filmmaker dedicated to finding and recording the unique, collective memories of families and communities.

Mr. Giordano possessed a keen eye for subject and detail and his work was known for its artistic sensibility and technical excellence. Beginning in 1999, he began documenting the places, people and events of New York’s Romaniote Jewish Community, centered at Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street, but also maintaining close ties with their city of origin, Ioannina. Greece. Vincent continued and expanded this work, which he called Before the Flame Goes Out, until his death, at which time he was working on a documentary film about the past and present of the Romaniote community.

Mr. Giordano’s work has been exhibited in many galleries and is included in numerous private collections. Mr. Giordano’s collection of portraits from September 11, 2001, is in the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society.  He was the recipient of several awards including seven Clio Awards for his film work in television commercials.

In addition to Before the Flame Goes Out, Mr. Giordano created portfolios including, Casino; The Atlantic City Boardwalk; Peggy’s Cove; The Airport People Mover; Central Park; Grand Central Station; Times Square and The Fulton Fish Market.

Vincent Giordano is survived by his wife Hilda and step-daughter Elizabeth, both of whom have helped make this exhibition possible.

Artist’s Statement

Vincent Giordano died in 2010. He wrote this statement about this project for a 2007 exhibition of the work:

Seven years ago, I first visited the Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue on Broome Street and what I heard and saw there made an indelible impression upon me. I listened with great interest and sadness to the story of the Romaniote’s forgotten place in Jewish history. I wondered how a community and its culture wither away and vanish…which forces are at work, and which are not? I began to photograph and document the synagogue and the community. This effort was transformed into an incredible personal journey of discovery, filled with wonderful people, interesting experiences, and fascinating places. As I explored and probed deeper, I discovered this story is much larger than the synagogue on Broome Street, that it reaches far into the past…to the rich history of the Jews in ancient Greece and the Byzantine Empire…and the devastation of the Holocaust.

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