“Filippi Baroque” by Joel Levinson

“Filippi Baroque” by Joel Levinson

Twenty-two photographs by local architect, author and photographer Joel Levinson are on exhibit at Trattoria Moma, a new restaurant at 7131 Germantown Ave. in Mt. Airy.

Levinson’s subject matter includes images taken in France, Bali, Italy, California, and Chestnut Hill. The Chestnut Hill image was taken in Filippi Brothers’ ornamental iron fabrication shop, which Levinson has used many times for his architectural projects. The image Fillipi Baroque takes its name from the unplanned curvilinear composition of several steel spirals that were hanging on the wall.

Although Levinson’s photographs were taken in diverse locales, his focus on careful composition and a tight chromatic palette thematically unites the many images.

The photograph titled Market at Chateaudûn is often mistaken for an oil painting, looking similar to a genre work from the Golden Age of 17th century Dutch masters. Another photograph never before exhibited is Bonny Doon taken at an equestrian center near Santa Cruz, California. Shot in a mountain pasture on a misty morning, the picture is a subtle study of two horses, one black, one white against a muted green background.

Although all the photographs are for sale, only prints of Bonny Doon are available because Levinson waited 30 years to find the right image to go into the Victorian era frame he bought at Bird-in-Hand, the consignment shop in Chestnut Hill. And that is a frame with which he will not part.

Moma took over the space previously occupied by the popular restaurant Umbria. The owner/chef of Trattoria Moma worked in Italy and London before coming to the United States. The pasta, bread, and desserts are all cooked on the premises, and Levinson, who was a regular at Umbria for three decades, said those who loved Umbria will not be disappointed by Trattoria Moma’s ambiance, cooked to order entrees, and delightful and accommodating staff.

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