Working People / Family of Miners
November 12, 2005 - January 7, 2006
Gallery Luisotti is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, featuring the photographs of Milton Rogovin. Incorporating two bodies work made from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, Working People / Family of Miners presents the pinnacle of Milton Rogovin’s career. Containing images taken in and around Milton’s native Buffalo, New York, as well as in Appalachia, and then spreading to China, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Mexico, Scotland, Spain, and Zimbabwe, this exhibition illustrates Rogovin’s immense contribution to the history of photographic portraiture. Capturing miners and manual laborers both on the job and at home, Rogovin portrays his subject in an austere, honest and respective manner.
Born in 1909 and a resident of Buffalo, New York since 1938, Rogovin has been an outspoken advocate for workers rights throughout his life. This activism comes through most sincerely in Rogovin’s photographs of miners. After losing his optometry practice to fervent degradation from the House Committee on UnAmerican Activities during the 1950s McCarthy scandal, Milton Rogovin focused on photography as an outlet for portraying and uplifting the underprivileged segments of modern society.
Rogovin’s fifty year career culminated in the 1970s and 1980s when he undertook an ambitious project to document workers, and specifically miners. Creating dual images, the photographs portray miners and workers both at home and on the job. This exhibition illustrates Milton’s keen eye in portraying a person as fulfilled only by both aspects of their lives. Rogovin underlines the home as an ultimate sanctuary for those disenfranchised and overworked in a capitalist society. Rogovin called this people “the forgotten ones,” and with his camera he was sure to cement their faces in time, revealing the individuals he portrayed as noteworthy and memorable beyond the arbitrations of society.