The Rogovin Collection has contributed 260 images of Milton Rogovin’s social documentary photography, now available in the Digital Library. A documentary photographer and political activist, Milton Rogovin (b. 1909) is best known for his portraits of the poor and working class, and his depictions of their lives, communities, and working conditions.

Trained as an optometrist, Rogovin turned to photography when his political activism drew the attention of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1957 and negatively impacted his practice in Buffalo, NY. In 1958, Rogovin began his first photographic series, documenting Store Front Churches in the African-American community in Buffalo’s East Side. From the 1960s through the 2000s, Rogovin continued to photograph the working people and ethnic communities in the Buffalo area, often photographing his subjects both at their workplaces and in their homes.

Further afield, Rogovin explored the plight of workers, particularly miners, in the small towns of Appalachia. In 1983, Rogovin received the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, which allowed him to expand his “Family of Miners” series to include workers in Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, Mexico, China, and Zimbabwe. Throughout his career, Rogovin has participated in 60 solo exhibitions and more than 30 group exhibitions and his work has appeared in more than 160 journals, magazines, and other publications.

To view the Milton Rogovin: Social Documentary Photographs collection: go to the Artstor Digital Library, browse by collection, and click “Milton Rogovin: Social Documentary Photographs”; or, if you are at your institution or have an Artstor account, simply follow this link:

For more detailed information about this collection, visit the Milton Rogovin: Social Documentary Photographs collection page.

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