About the Cover

Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Two Columbia alumni artists are featured on the cover of this issue. The portrait of actor Brian Dennehy ’60CC is the work of New York City photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders ’74CC, who has taken more than 1,000 portraits of artists, art dealers, collectors, critics, and curators over the last 20 years.

Among the celebrities Greenfield-Sanders has photographed are movie stars Bette Davis and Ethan Hawke, directors Orson Welles and Alfred Hitchcock, politicians Madeleine Albright and Hillary Rodham Clinton, musicians David Bowie and Lou Reed, and artists Willem de Kooning and Keith Haring. Each minimalist photo—images that painter Peter Halley has described as “magisterial and brooding”—exemplifies Greenfield-Sanders’s ability to capture an intimate moment with his subjects.

Just as the faces in Greenfield-Sanders’s portraits reveal the photographer’s artistic vision, the people who have studied and taught at Columbia reflect the University’s intellectual legacy.

Columbia magazine will showcase a selection of those Columbians over the course of the next year with four theme issues celebrating the University’s 250th anniversary. This issue, “Columbia and the Arts,” is the first in the series and will be followed by “Columbia and the World,” “Columbia and the Sciences,” and “Columbia and the City.” Each cover will feature a Columbia graduate who represents the issue’s theme, and will exhibit the simple beauty that is the trademark of Greenfield-Sanders, who has graciously donated his creative services by agreeing to shoot all four cover portraits for the series.

“At Columbia I majored in art history, probably by default,” says Greenfield-Sanders, who graduated from Columbia College 14 years after Dennehy (see page 59). “At the time those classes, with the exception of ‘Dada and Surrealism,’ seemed unconnected to my life and my world. I wanted to meet Andy Warhol, not look at slides of Courbet's paintings. Of course later, when I became a filmmaker and a photographer, those art history classes turned out to be invaluable, the perfect background for me as an artist.”

Photo: Self-portrait by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders