There’s More Leddy to Love at Guild Hall

Stuart Vorpahl Fritz Leddy

    Guild Hall will revisit the much praised and beloved photography of Fritz Leddy on Saturday with the opening of “Fritz Leddy, Part 2,” a new selection from the more than 2,000 negatives the former East Hampton Village police chief left behind in the basement of the department, and which were found in 1999.
    Doug Kuntz, who organized and printed the first show, has once again taken on those duties and is guest curator. He will lead a gallery talk on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. before the 5 p.m. public reception for that show and three others that Guild Hall will open the same evening (see related article on C4).
    The photographs were taken with a large-format 4-by-5 negative camera, from 1937 to 1968. Some of the favorite images from the last show from 2006 will be featured along with many new ones.
    Mr. Kuntz, a former photo editor for The East Hampton Star, said the negatives were found in envelopes, “a lot of them had the date, place, and named some of the people. Some just said Main Street and a date.” Although the negatives were mostly well organized, much of the identification and a few corrections came from the hundreds of people who saw the last show. “There was a book in the gallery and some people would identify a whole group of 25 people. They wrote every name out in longhand.”
    Mr. Leddy was born in Red Bank, N.J., in 1906. He followed his father, Harry Leddy, to East Hampton in 1929 as part of a security firm. He became a special patrolman for the Police Department in 1932 and was named chief five years later. He took a leave of absence to join the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1950 to 1952 and then returned to East Hampton, becoming the first head of the village’s detective division in 1968. He retired the next year and continued to enjoy photography as well as golf, gardening, and nature in the years before his death at his Cove Hollow house in 1987.