Milton Rogovin (1909–2011) dedicated his photographic career to capturing the humanity of working-class people around the world―coal miners, factory workers, the urban poor, the residents of Appalachia, and other marginalized groups. He worked to equalize the relationship between photographer and subject in the making of pictures and encouraged his subjects' agency by photographing them on their own terms. Rogovin's powerful insight and immense sympathy for his subjects distinguish him as one of the most original and important documentary photographers in American history.
Edited by Christopher Fulton, The Social Documentary Photography of Milton Rogovin is a multi-disciplinary study of the photographer's historical achievement and continuing relevance. Inspired by a recent donation of his work to the University of Louisville, this compilation of essays examines Rogovin's work through multiple lenses. Contributors analyze his photographic career and political motivations, as well as his relationship to economic history and current academic interests. Most closely investigated are the Lower West Side series―a photographic portrait of a particular neighborhood of Buffalo―the Working People series―documenting blue-collar workers and their families over a span of years―and the Family of Miners series―a survey of mining communities in the United States and eight foreign countries.
A collaborative effort by prominent scholars, The Social Documentary Photography of Milton Rogovin combines historical and biographical research with cultural and artistic criticism, offering a unique perspective on Rogovin's work in Appalachia and beyond.