Kenan Center Prepares Exhibit Celebrating Famed 19th Century Canal Photographer

Works by F.B. Clench and regional photographers on display at Kenan Center

LOCKPORT — The Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation (LLHDC), in collaboration with the Kenan Center, presents an exhibit that will trace the life of photographer Frank Bernard Clench and the genesis of photography in the latter part of the 19th Century in upstate New York and Lockport’s Erie Canal. The exhibition will be on view from April 25 – June 6 inside the Kenan House Gallery.

Frank Bernard (F.B.) Clench was a very talented photographer who worked and lived in the City of Lockport from 1864 to 1888. A native of Canada, Clench operated a photography studio on East Avenue, where he specialized in portrait photography; Clench has become highly acclaimed for his iconic photo of the Lockport Lock Tenders seated on the stairs in the Lockport Locks. Clench later moved his photography practice to Fairport, NY, where he passed away in 1914.

“Visitors will see on display examples of Clench’s work, along with some of the Erie Canal photos of current Lockport photographer Dennis Stierer, who has curated the exhibit,” says David Kinyon, of the LLHDC. Other regional photographers on display include David Stockton, Kevin Miller, Jeff Tracy, Donna Jordan Dusel and Lee Williams.

Upon entering the Kenan House Gallery, guests will also have the chance view the newly completed cast bronze, life size  sculpture of Clench (depicted at camera under a shroud), created by artist Susan Geissler. Geissler has been commissioned by the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation to add another five sculptures to the current three figures in the Lock Tenders Tribute Monument this summer; the sculpture of Clench will be among the additions this year.

A Photographic Celebration of the Erie Canal: Featuring Works by F.B. Clench has been organized by the Lockport Locks Heritage District Corporation in collaboration with the Kenan Center. This program is funded by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; it is administered by Arts Services, Inc.