New York photographer Christopher Payne is one of the few artists who has been granted access to the Steinway & Sons piano factory in Astoria, New York. His photographs not only document the process of manufacturing the world-renowned grand pianos, but they reveal the deep commitment and finely tuned craftsmanship exemplified by Steinway’s long-time employees.
In describing his connection to the project, Payne writes:
“The kind of manufacturing and craftsmanship that happens at One Steinway Place, where people transform raw, messy materials into some of the finest musical instruments in the world, has nearly vanished from the American workplace. This concerns me deeply, not only because I come from a musical family in which such craftsmanship was revered, but because I live at a time when fewer and fewer people make their own music. Steinway is not disappearing, not by any means, but the opportunity to look deep inside it revealed to me one of the supreme and most discerning accomplishments of the human hand and imagination. ”
The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 2014 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (April 24 – May 10, 2014). It is made possible, in part, through the generosity of Steinway & Sons.