Berenice Abbott, née Bernice Alice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, science interpretation in the 1940s to 1960s. Abbott was born in Springfield and brought up there by her divorced mother, née Lillian Alice Bunn, she attended Ohio State University for two semesters, but left in early 1918 when her professor was dismissed because he was a German teaching an English class. In Paris, she became an assistant to Man Ray, who wanted someone with no previous knowledge of photography, her university studies included sculpture. She spent two years studying sculpture in Berlin, she studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin. During this time, she adopted the French spelling of her first name, "Berenice," at the suggestion of Djuna Barnes. In addition to her work in the visual arts, Abbott published poetry in the experimental literary journal transition.
Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. She wrote: "I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else." Ray was impressed by her darkroom work and allowed her to use his studio to take her own photographs. In 1921 her first major works was in an exhibition in the Parisian gallery Le Sacre du Printemps. After a short time studying photography in Berlin, she returned to Paris in 1927 and started a second studio, on the rue Servandoni. Abbott's subjects were people in the artistic and literary worlds, including French nationals and others just passing through the city. According to Sylvia Beach, "To be'done' by Man Ray or Berenice Abbott meant you rated as somebody". Abbott's work was exhibited with that of Man Ray, André Kertész, others in Paris, in the "Salon de l'Escalier", on the staircase of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, her portraiture was unusual within exhibitions of modernist photography held in 1928–1929 in Brussels and Germany.
In 1925, Man Ray introduced her to Eugène Atget's photographs. She became interested in Atget's work, managed to persuade him to sit for a portrait in 1927, he died shortly thereafter. She acquired the prints and negatives remaining in Eugène Atget’s studio at his death in 1927. While the government acquired much of Atget's archive — Atget had sold 2,621 negatives in 1920, his friend and executor André Calmettes sold 2,000 more after his death — Abbott was able to buy the remainder in June, 1928, started work on its promotion. An early tangible result was the 1930 book Atget, photographe de Paris, in which she is described as photo editor. Due to a lack of funding, Abbott sold a one-half interest in the collection to Julien Levy for $1,000. Abbott's work on Atget's behalf would continue until her sale of the archive to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968. In addition to her book The World of Atget, she provided the photographs for A Vision of Paris, published a portfolio, Twenty Photographs, wrote essays.
Her sustained efforts helped Atget gain international recognition. In early 1929, Abbott visited New York City, ostensibly to find an American publisher for Atget's photographs. After New York when she was doing portrait photography most of the time, she moved on to documentary photography. Upon seeing the city again, Abbott recognized its photographic potential, she went back to Paris, closed up her studio, returned to New York in September. She was a central figure, her first photographs of the city were taken with a hand-held Kurt-Bentzin camera, but soon she acquired a Century Universal camera which produced 8 x 10 inch negatives. Using this large format camera, Abbott photographed New York City with the diligence and attention to detail she had so admired in Eugène Atget. Atget died in 1927 and she bought all his work which contained over 5000 negatives and glass slides from him and brought it to New York in 1929, her work has provided a historical chronicle of many now-destroyed buildings and neighborhoods of Manhattan.
Her work appeared in an exhibition "Changing New York" at the Museum Of City in 1937. This was a book made to show the transformation of New York City, she focused more on the physical part of the transformation rather than the mental part of it, such as the change of neighborhoods and the replacement of skyscrapers to low rise buildings. Abbott worked on her New York project independently for six years, unable to get financial support from organizations, foundations, or individuals, she supported herself with commercial work and teaching at the New School of Social Research beginning in 1933. In 1935, Abbott was hired by the Federal Art Project as a project supervisor for her "Changing New York" project, she continued to take the photographs of the city, but she had assistants to help her both in the field and in the office. This arrangement allowed Abbott to devote all her time to producing and exhibiting her photographs. By the time she resigned from the FAP in 1939, she had produced 305 photographs that were deposited at the Museum of the City of New York.
Abbott's project was a sociological study embedded within modernist aesthetic practices. She sought to create a broadly inclusive collection of photographs that together suggest a vital interaction between three aspects of urban life: the div
Harold Martin Feinstein was an American photographer. Feinstein was born in Coney Island, New York, in 1931, he was the youngest of five children born to Jewish immigrant parents. His mother Sophie Reich immigrated to the United States from Austria and his father Louis immigrated from Russia, he began to practice photography in 1946 at the age of 15, borrowing a Rolleiflex camera from a neighbor. Feinstein joined the Photo League in 1948 at the age of 17. By 19 he had his work purchased by Edward Steichen for the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Feinstein had his first exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1954 and at the Museum of Modern Art in 1957, he held solo exhibitions at the George Eastman Museum and Helen Gee's Limelight Gallery. His photographs were published on the inaugural cover of the literary magazine Evergreen Review and in the leftist journal Liberation. Critics of the period referred to Feinstein as a master of his art, his work was influential in the development of the New York school of photography.
While Feinstein photographed the streets of New York City and elsewhere throughout his career, his favorite subject was his birthplace, Coney Island. He returned many times throughout his life to photograph the boardwalk, the amusements and the diverse visitors to the beach destination. There he was able to find and photograph a broad range of the human experience, from love to lust, joy to despair, comedy to drama, he described it as a photographer's paradise. The International Center of Photography held an exhibition of Feinstein's Coney Island work, A Coney Island of the Heart, in 1990 and the Leica Gallery did so in 2015. Throughout his career, Feinstein taught photography through private workshops held in his studio, as well as at numerous institutions. Many of Feinstein's students went on to become fine art photographers of note. Additionally, Feinstein taught at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Museum School of Art, School of Visual Arts, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Maryland Institute College of Art, Windham College, College of the Holy Cross After decades of working in humanistic 35 mm film photography, Feinstein started in 2001 to create work digitally, using a scanner to photograph images of flowers, butterflies and botanicals.
Cataloguing his life's work, he found that the precision of digital controls, as well as the ability to duplicate images and receive instantaneous feedback, enabled him to be more improvisational and take more creative risks in his work. This work garnered Feinstein commercial success. Feinstein published seven books of scanography, his scanographic work was published several times in O, The Oprah Magazine. Feinstein's image of a white rose became a best-selling item at the retailer IKEA. Feinstein was honored with the Computerworld Smithsonian Award in 2000 for his breakthrough in digital imaging. Feistein's work is held in the following permanent collections: International Center of Photography: 92 prints. New York Public Library: 11 prints. Museum of Modern Art, New York. Focus award, Griffin Museum of Photography, 2011. One Hundred Flowers. Boston: Little, Brown, 2000. ISBN 9780821226650. Foliage. Boston: Little, Brown, 2001. ISBN 9780821227398; the Infinite Rose. Boston: Bulfinch, 2004. ISBN 9780821228753.
The Infinite Tulip. Boston: Bulfinch, 2004. ISBN 9780821228746 One Hundred Seashells. New York: Bulfinch, 2005. ISBN 9780821262061. Orchidelirium. New York: Bulfinch, 2006. ISBN 9780821262054. One Hundred Butterflies. New York: Little, Brown, 2009. ISBN 9780316033633. Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective. Portland, OR: Nazraeli, 2012. ISBN 9781590053690. Saying Yes. Portland, OR: Blue Sky Gallery, 2016. A print on demand publication of work shown at Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR. Official website Feinstein's profile at Galerie Thierry Bigaignon Harold Feinstein | Panopticon Gallery Heart of the Matter: Harold Feinstein, Photographs 1946-2011
Martin Edward Elkort was an American photographer and writer known for his street photography. Prints of his work are displayed by several prominent art museums in the United States, his photographs have appeared in galleries and major publications. Early black and white photographs by Elkort feature the fabled Lower East Side in Manhattan, New York City, showing its ethnic diversity, myriad streets and cluttered alleys; the Coney Island amusement park in Brooklyn was another favorite site during that period. His work depicts street scenes from downtown Los Angeles and Tijuana, Mexico. Throughout Martin Elkort's long career as a photographer, he always showed the positive, joyful side of life in his candid images. Born in the Bronx, New York City, Martin Elkort grew up during the Great Depression. At the age of 15, he spent four months in the hospital; when he returned home, his parents gave him his first Ciroflex, a twin-lens reflex camera, that cost them about a week’s salary. Elkort took his first professional photograph at the age of 10 while on a car trip with his parents to Baltimore.
During the trip, he took photographs of flooded streets. The Baltimore Sun purchased his photographs of flood scenes and featured one of them on its front page. After his recovery from polio, he set out around Manhattan taking pictures of whatever interested him. Elkort was a member of New York Photo League from 1948–1951. While studying at New York City's Cooper Union School of Art, Elkort joined the New York Photo League, an organization of photographers that served as the epicenter of the documentary movement in American photography. There he studied under masters like Paul Strand, Aaron Siskind, Sid Grossman, Lou Stoumen, Imogen Cunningham and many other luminaries, learning to become adept at what he refers to as ‘stealth photography’. With a more refined Rolleiflex twin-lens reflex camera strapped around his neck, he would roam the streets peering down into the 2×2 inch ground glass, he developed the skill of walking right up to a person and taking their photo without them realizing it.
His goal was to capture innocence. During this period he worked at the Wildenstein & Company Gallery and the Stephen Michael Studio in Manhattan where he further enhanced his photographic knowledge and technique. In 1948, Elkort showed his pictures of Hasidic Jewish boys playing in the streets to Edward Steichen, curator of photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art and America's most famous photographer at the time. Steichen rejected his photos, describing Martin's skills as "no better than the other 35 million amateur photographers in the country." Dejected but determined, Elkort worked tirelessly to improve his craft and two years he met with Steichen again. This time the famous curator bought three of his images for the museum's collection: "Soda Fountain Girl", "Puppy Love", "The Girl With Black Cat", all uplifting images of children at Coney Island. Elkort's photographs of liberated Jewish immigrants learning new work skills at the Bramson ORT School in Brooklyn offer a rare and intimate glimpse into of their optimistic struggle to integrate into a new society after World War II.
Some of his pictures show Jewish workers bearing tattoos evidencing their incarceration in Nazi concentration camps during The Holocaust. In 1951, more than 20,000 Jews received vocational training at the Bramson ORT School. Seamstresses, pattern makers, pressers. In 2008, Elkort donated 33 of his vintage ORT photographs to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D. C.. After receiving a digital camera for his 70th birthday, Martin's photographic career re-ignited, he began to show his current and older work in galleries around the country. He found a renewed interest in the New York Photo League. In 2002, he co-founded the Los Angeles League of Photographers along with David Schulman and David Stork. Modeled after the New York Photo League, its mission is to expose the wider public to photography's essential social and aesthetic values, he writes articles for magazines dealing with photography including Rangefinder and Black & White Magazine. As of March 2014, Elkort's work is exhibited and can be found in the permanent collections of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.
C.. Following his retirement from the travel industry in 1996, Elkort authored two books, Getting from Fired to Hired and The Secret Life of Food, he wrote numerous magazine articles for Rangefinder and Black & White magazines. In the 1970s, Martin and his wife Edythe bought and ran a travel agency in Beverly Hills, catering to a clientele that included many Hollywood stars. In 1976, Martin and his longtime friend Murray Vidockler founded the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality to promote better wheelchair access on buses and at airports and major destinations; the Secret Life of Food: A Feast of Food and Drink Histor
Paul Strand was an American photographer and filmmaker who, along with fellow modernist photographers like Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Weston, helped establish photography as an art form in the 20th century. His diverse body of work, spanning six decades, covers numerous genres and subjects throughout the Americas and Africa. Strand was born in New York City to Bohemian parents. In his late teens, he was a student of renowned documentary photographer Lewis Hine at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, it was while on a fieldtrip in this class that Strand first visited the 291 art gallery – operated by Stieglitz and Edward Steichen – where exhibitions of work by forward-thinking modernist photographers and painters would move Strand to take his photographic hobby more seriously. Stieglitz would promote Strand's work in the 291 gallery itself, in his photography publication Camera Work, in his artwork in the Hieninglatzing studio; some of this early work, like the well-known Wall Street, experimented with formal abstractions.
Other of Strand's works reflect his interest in using the camera as a tool for social reform. He was one of the founders of the Photo League, an association of photographers who advocated using their art to promote social and political causes. Over the next few decades, Strand worked in motion pictures as well as still photography, his first film was Manhatta known as New York the Magnificent, a silent film showing the day-to-day life of New York City made with painter/photographer Charles Sheeler. Manhatta includes a shot similar to Strand's famous Wall Street photograph. In 1932–35, he lived in Mexico and worked on Redes, a film commissioned by the Mexican government, released in the US as The Wave. Other films he was involved with were the documentary The Plow That Broke the Plains and the pro-union, anti-fascist Native Land. In June 1949, Strand left the United States to present Native Land at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in Czechoslovakia; the remaining 27 years of his life were spent in Orgeval, where, despite never learning the language, he maintained an impressive, creative life, assisted by his third wife, fellow photographer Hazel Kingsbury Strand.
Although Strand is best known for his early abstractions, his return to still photography in this period produced some of his most significant work in the form of six book "portraits" of place: Time in New England, La France de Profil, Un Paese, Tir a'Mhurain / Outer Hebrides, Living Egypt and Ghana: An African Portrait. Born in New York as Nathaniel Paul Stransky to merchant Jacob Stransky and Matilda Stransky. Strand married the painter Rebecca Salsbury on January 21, 1922, he photographed her sometimes with uncommonly close compositions. After divorcing Salsbury, Strand married Virginia Stevens in 1935, they divorced in 1949. The timing of Strand’s departure to France is coincident with the first libel trial of his friend Alger Hiss, with whom he maintained a correspondence until his death. Although he was never a member of the Communist Party, many of Strand’s collaborators were either Party members or were prominent socialist writers and activists. Many of his friends were Communists or were suspected of being so.
Strand was closely involved with Frontier Films, one of more than 20 organizations that were identified as "subversive" and "un-American" by the US Attorney General. Strand insisted that his books should be printed in Leipzig, East Germany if this meant that they were prohibited from the American market on account of their Communist provenance. De-classified intelligence files, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and now lodged at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, reveal that Strand’s movements around Europe were monitored by the security services. Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century and Albert Museum, March–July 2016 Notes Further reading Barberie, Peter. Paul Strand: Aperture Masters of Photography. Hong Kong: Aperture. ISBN 0-89381-077-0. Barberie and Bock Amanda N. ed. “Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography.” Yale University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0300207927. Gualtieri, Elena. Paul Strand Cesare Zavattini: Lettere e immagini, Bora, 2005.
ISBN 88-88600-37-X. Hambourg, Maria Morris, Paul Strand circa 1916, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998 MacDonald, Fraser. "Paul Strand and the Atlanticist Cold War" History of Photography 28.4, 356–373. Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 0-7892-0028-7. Stange, Maren. Paul Strand: essays on his life and work, New York: Aperture 1991. Weaver, Mike, "Paul Strand: Native Land", The Archive 27, 5–15. Paul Strand biography, related artists and categories, works on Artsy Karen Rosenberg, "Expatriate Humanist, Lens Up His Sleeve, Paul Strand’s Lifetime of Photography, at Philadelphia Museum", The New York Times, October 23, 2014 Zachary Rosen, "The photographer Paul Strand’s 1960’s Portrait of Ghana", Africa is a Country, 19 November 2014 Masters of Photography: Paul Strand
W. Eugene Smith
William Eugene Smith was an American photojournalist. He has been described as "perhaps the single most important American photographer in the development of the editorial photo essay." His major photo essays include World War II photographs, the dedication of an American country doctor and a nurse midwife, the clinic of Dr Schweitzer in French Equatorial Africa, the city of Pittsburgh, the pollution which damaged the health of the residents of Minamata in Japan. His 1948 series, Country Doctor, photographed for Life magazine is now recognized as "the first extended editorial photo story". William Eugene Smith was born in the city of Wichita, Kansas on December 30, 1918 to the parents of William H. Smith and Nettie Lee. Growing up, Smith had taken interest in flying and aviation; when the little boy was only nine years old and asking his mother for money to buy photographs of airplanes, the child was given his first camera. In 1927 Nettie gave him her old camera in hopes. Though this is what birthed Smith's vocation.
When her nine year old boy, who would become the most esteemed photographer in history, came to her with a full roll of shots, she would develop the film for him in her own homemade darkroom. Smith started grade school in his home town of Wichita, he started Catholic school in 1924. By the time he was a teenager, photography was his craft, he began his journey as a professional and serious photographer when the famous Frank Noel of the Wichita Press approached him. Noel, impressed with his photography, pushed him to submit his works to the news sources. By the time Smith was fifteen years old he was published in The Wichita Eagle and the Wichita Beacon. Smith graduated from the Wichita North High School in 1936; that same year, his father committed suicide. In ther aftermath of his father's death, Smith's values where carved into stone. Salt was thrown into the wounds he and his mother endured when the news of the town used the story and twisted the death into a falsity; the truth of the circumstances of the situation had been lost.
It was in this series of unfortunate events that lit the flame for Smith to begin his career in photojournalism. He made. Smith moved by 1938 he had begun to work for Newsweek, he became known there for his incessant perfectionism and thorny personality and Smith was fired from Newsweek. He explained that Newsweek wanted him to work with larger format negatives, but he refused to abandon the 35mm Contax camera he preferred to work with. Smith began to work for Life magazine in 1939 building a strong relationship with picture editor Wilson Hicks; as a correspondent for Ziff-Davis Publishing, at Life, Smith took photos on the front lines in the Pacific theater of World War II. He was with the American forces during their island-hopping offensive against Japan, photographing U. S. Marines and Japanese prisoners of war at Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa. In 1945, Smith was injured by mortar fire while photographing the Battle of Okinawa. In 1946, he took his first photograph since being injured: a picture of his two children walking in the garden of his home in Tuckahoe, New York, which he titled The Walk to Paradise Garden.
The photograph became enormously famous when Edward Steichen used it as one of the key images in the exhibition The Family of Man, which Steichen curated in 1955. After spending two years undergoing surgery, Smith continued to work at Life until 1954. In 1950, Smith was sent to the UK to cover the General Election, in which the Labour Party, under Clement Attlee, was elected with a tiny majority. Life had taken an editorial stance against the Labour government. In the end, a limited number of Smith's photographs of British working class people were published, including three shots of the South Wales Valleys. In a documentary made by BBC Wales, Dai Smith traced a miner who described how he and two colleagues had met Smith on their way home from work at the pit and had been instructed on how to pose for one of the photographs published in Life. Between 1948 and 1954 Smith photographed for Life magazine a series of photo essays with a humanist perspective which laid the basis of modern photojournalism, which were, in the estimate of Encyclopædia Britannica, "characterized by a strong sense of empathy and social conscience."In August 1948 Smith photographed Dr. Ernest Ceriani in the town of Kremmling, for several weeks, covering the doctor's arduous work in a thinly populated western environment, grappling with life and death situations.
The essay Country Doctor was published by Life on September 20, 1948. It has been described by Sean O'Hagan as "the first extended editorial photo story". Smith spent a month in Spain in 1950, photographing the village of Deleitosa, focusing on themes of rural poverty. Smith attracted the suspicion of the local Guardia Civil, until he made an abrupt exit across the border to France. A Spanish Village was published in Life on April 1951 to great acclaim. Ansel Adams wrote Smith a letter of praise, which Smith carried in his pocket for three years, unable to write a reply. In 1951, Smith persuaded Life editor Edward Thompson to let him do a photo-journalistic profile of Maude E. Callen, a black nurse midwife working in rural South Carolina. For weeks Smith accompanied Callen on her exhausting schedule, rising before dawn and working into the evening; the essay Nurse Midwife was published in Life on December 3
Anne Wilkes Tucker
Anne Wilkes Tucker was an American museum curator of photographic works. She retired in June 2015. Tucker was born in Louisiana, she received a B. A. in Art History from Randolph Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1967, an A. A. S in photographic illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1968. In 1972, she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photographic History from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, studying under Nathan Lyons and Beaumont Newhall. While in graduate school, she worked as a research assistant at the George Eastman House in Rochester. Tucker began working for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1976, when it possessed no photographs. In February of that year, Target Stores made its first donation to MFAH to begin the Target Collection of American Photography; the MFAH Photography department was established in December, when Tucker was hired as a consultant to act as curator of photography. In 1978, she became the MFAH curator, in 1984 she was named the Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography.
She has increased the museum's holdings of photographs to over 24,000 in 2008. Tucker organized more than forty exhibitions for the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and elsewhere, including retrospectives for Brassaï, Robert Frank, Louis Faurer, George Krause, Ray Metzker, Richard Misrach. Many of her exhibitions led to the publication of books of photographs, her book The Woman's Eye includes the work of ten women photographers: Gertrude Käsebier, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Margaret Bourke-White, Dorothea Lange, Berenice Abbott, Barbara Morgan, Diane Arbus, Alisa Wells, Judy Dater and Bea Nettles. Tucker states, "The Woman's Eye represents the first major attempt to bring together notable photographs by women and to consider, through them, the role played by sexual identity both in the creation and the evaluation of photographic art." In a 2003 interview with Texas Monthly Magazine she comments: "When I wrote The Woman's Eye in 1973 few women photographers were accepted in the elite of the field.
That is no longer true. Photography has had many important women as photo historians and curators. Nancy Newhall, Alison Gernsheim, Gisèle Freund, Grace Mayer were some of the important early women historians. I knew Nancy Newhall and Grace Mayer and admired both much."Tucker retired from the Museum of Fine Arts Houston in June 2015. The Woman's Eye. Unknown Territory: Photographs by Ray K. Metzker. Houston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1984. ISBN 978-0890900338. Photographs by Ray Metzker. Accompanies an exhibition. Robert Frank: New York to Nova Scotia. Brassaï: the eye of Paris; this was the Photo League: the camera from the Depression to the Cold War. Louis Faurer. Target III, in sequence: photographic sequences from the Target Collection of American Photography. Chaotic Harmony Contemporary Korean Photography. War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0300177381. Edited by Tucker and Will Michels with Natalie Zelt. George Krause: a Retrospective.
Houston, TX: Rice University Press, 1991. ISBN 978-0892633098. Photographs by George Krause. Edited by Tucker. 1983: Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. 2001: "America's Best Curator" by Time. 2005: International Award from the Photographic Society of Japan. 2006: Focus Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Griffin Museum of Photography. Alumnae Achievement award from Randolph Macon Women's College. Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Fellowship from the Getty Center. Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Fellowship from the Dora Maar House, Ménerbes, France. Voted one of the top fifty most influential people in America by American Photo magazine. 2013: Special jury recognition, PhotoBook of the Year, Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards for War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. 2013 Best Photography Book, Kraszna-Krausz Awards for War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath.
"The Exhibitionist" by Richard Lacayo, Time, 2001. "A Q&A with Anne Wilkes Tucker" by Nora Varty, Texas Monthly, 2003
Aaron Siskind was an American photographer. Siskind's work focuses on the details of things, presented as flat surfaces to create a new image independent of the original subject, he was involved with, if not a part of, the abstract expressionist movement. Born in New York City, Siskind grew up on the Lower East Side. Shortly after graduating from City College, he became a public school English teacher. Siskind was a grade school English teacher in the New York Public School System for 25 years, began photography when he received a camera as a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon. Early in his career Siskind was a member of the New York Photo League, where he produced several significant conscious series of images in the 1930s, among them "Harlem Document". In 1950 Siskind met Harry Callahan. Callahan persuaded Siskind to join him as part of the faculty of the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago. In 1971 he followed Callahan by his invitation to teach at the Rhode Island School of Design, until both retired in the late 1970s.
Siskind made photographs of "close-up details of painted walls, asphalt pavement and lava flows", "cracked, peeling paint on weathered surfaces". He used "a process of tracing and smearing on the surfaces of his negatives and prints... dirt and grime". Siskind's work includes works done in Rome in 1963 and 1967, Mexico in the 1970s, in the 1980s works such as the Tar Series in Providence and Route 88 near Westport, Rhode Island, he continued making photographs until his death on February 8, 1991. He died of a stroke on February 8, 1991. Bucks County: Photographs of Early Architecture. Horizon, 1974. ISBN 9780818014161. Places: Aaron Siskind Photographs. Siskind and Thomas B. Hess. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1976. ISBN 9780374232054. Harlem Document Photographs 1932 1940: Aaron Siskind. Matrix, 1981. ISBN 978-0936554075. Road Trip: Photographs 1980-1988. Friends of Photography, 1989. ISBN 9780933286535. Harlem Photographs 1932-1940. Smithsonian, 1990. ISBN 9781560980414. Aaron Siskind 100. PowerHouse, 2003. ISBN 9781576871942.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL: 256 prints San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA: 18 prints Rosenblum, Harold. Siskind, Photographs. Horizon, 1959 Rhem, James. Aaron Siskind. Phaidon, 2012 Marika Herskovic, New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists, New York School Press, 2000 ISBN 0-9677994-0-6 Mason Klein and Catherine Evans, The Radical Camera: New York's PhotoLeague 1936-1951, Yale University Press and The Jewish Museum, 2011 ISBN 978-0300146875 Aaron Siskind Foundation Siskind at Pitzer College Art Galleries in the Claremont Colleges Digital Library