Critical Essays & Media
Milton Rogovin: An Activist Photographer
© Robert Hirsch/www.lightresearch.net,
Originally published in Afterimage, September/October 2004
The essential Rogovin: An in-depth conversation
© Robert Hirsch/www.lightresearch.net
Originally published in Buffalo Spree Magazine, November 2004
Last Links: The Jewish Connection to American Social Realism
© Paul Von Blum, published in Tikkun, July 29, 2011
Critical Media (PDF Downloads)
The following critical essays are available as PDF downloads (click any title to download):
"On the Job in Illinois: Then and Now," is a dramatic photographic exploration of working men and women, past and present, creating the goods and services of modern society in one of America's greatest industrial states.
Traveling Exhibition. Produced by the Illinois Labor History Society, 1976.
The Timeless Eye was an introduction by Robert Doherty, then Director of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, New York (1972-1981).
The photograph on page 7 had a major impact on Milton Rogovin's photography. In 1976 Milton launched into the series called, Working People. He began photographing in steel mills foundries in Lackawanna and Buffalo, New York. He was photographing men and women at the work-place.
In 1976, Milton's son Mark brought On the Job catalog home. Milton looked through the publication and was stunned by the photo on page 7, labeled, "Fig. 5 Photographer Unknown 'Jones and Laughlin Steel Worker at Home. N.D. J & L." Immediately Milton recognized that he was taking a narrow view of the worker. He needed to take a deeper look into the workers that he photographed--to understand more about the life of the worker-- what was their home life like, were they married, did they have children, divorced, hobbies, art on the walls...
The Working People series then expanded from 1976 to 1987 when he made a "revisited trip" to the homes of the workers. Not one of the workers still had that $18 an hour Union job. A few were "lucky" to have an $8. job at a McDonalds. Most all the foundries were leveled, the equipment had been shipped to Mexico or China.
The series became so much richer with Milton's viewing that "Page 7, Photographer Unknown" photograph in the catalog. All his future series were influenced by this education.
- Mark Rogovin
For Rogovin, A Bittersweet 'Harvest Time', by Mark Sommer - News Staff Reporter, The Buffalo News, Sunday, July 27, 2003
Milton Rogovin's "Approach": Photography, Class, and the Aesthetics of Making Space
by Joseph Entin (3.1 MB)
Milton Rogovin biography excerpted from Eye Witness: Milton Rogovin, Social Documentary Photographer
by Melanie Herzog (28 KB).
Milton Rogovin, Social Documentary Photography and Jewish Identity
by Melanie Herzog (5.8 MB)
The Eye Doctor's Vision: The Documentary Photography of Milton Rogovin
by Paul Von Blum (2.4 MB)
Photography & Writing: A Pedagogy of Seeing
by Janet Zandy (432 KB)
Photography and the Work of Class and Race
by Janet Zandy (176 KB)
The Practice of Not Forgetting: Photography by Milton Rogovin in Buffalo's Lower West Side
by Janet Zandy and Mark Rogovin (5 MB)