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In 1877, at the age of 11, Austen received a camera from her uncle. She was immediately mesmerized by this new invention, and spent the next 40 years capturing some 8,000 images. She was often seen riding her bicycle around Staten Island and Manhattan, carrying almost 50 pounds of photographic equipment. Austen is best known for her street photography: photos of immigrants just off the boats from Ellis Island, street sweepers hard at work, postmen, bootblacks, and fishmongers. Her photographs bear witness to a strong aesthetic eye: she knew how to compose an image, what to include and leave out. Her artistic talents are evident in her photographs of nature, which were influenced by 19th-century ideas of nature as holder of both beauty and spirit.

In February 2013,  Valentine's Day to be precise, Flint Gennari donated this Work of Art "Star-Crossed Lovers, the Proposal" to the annual fundraising auction at the Alice Austen House.   The photo is a LIGHT PAINTING (captured live in the dark on a camera with a long exposure)   Quite different from the usual Black and White images that grace this photography museum but what year is this anyway!

The Alice Austen House, also known as Clear Comfort, is located at 2 Hylan Boulevard in the Rosebank section of Staten Island, New York City, New York.[4] It was home of Alice Austen, a photographer, for most of her lifetime, and is now a museum and a member of the Historic House Trust.[5] The house is administered by the "Friends of Alice Austen", a volunteer group.[6] Today, the Alice Austen House hosts many school programs, including photography summer camps and day trips for classes of all age groups