Documenting The Forgotten Ones: The Working Class Eye Of Milton Rogovin

[An extraordinary exhibit opens Jan. 20, 2011.  Original prints, many never before exhibited, representing the life work of acclaimed photographer Milton Rogovin will be on view until June 30, 2011.  Rogovin was active politically in Buffalo and was blacklisted during the 1950’s.  He lost his optometry practice then, and decided to turn to photography as a way to continue to speak out.  Visit this link to explore the work of Milton Rogovin, to hear the interview with Rogovin and his daughter on his 100th birthday ( Dec. 30, 2009), read Rogovin’s poetry (Milton Rogovin reads his own poetry in the interview), and much more.  The Gage Gallery link gives updated information about the exhibit and events in the exhibit space. – Lew Rosenbaum]

Gage Gallery hours

Monday – Friday 9-6
Saturdays 10-4


Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin

A one-of-a-kind, vintage photo exhibit that tells compelling stories about work and working-class people through the eyes of renowned photographer Milton Rogovin.  The debut exhibit, The Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin, features some striking images of workers from the living photographer’s collection that have never been seen before by the public. 

Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin 

Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin
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Born in 1909 in New York City, Rogovin went to Buffalo, New York, for work as an optometrist. Involved in political work as well, Rogovin looked to socialism as a model for improving the lot of workers and was called before the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1957.
Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin 

Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin
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As a result of this, Rogovin’s business dwindled and he decided to pursue photography as a means to express the worth and dignity of people who make their livings under modest and difficult circumstances.
Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin 

Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin
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“This show is different and very exciting for my family because it is one of those rare times when organizers of a show took the time to choose the images themselves and to exhibit them uniquely through the lens of the working-class eye.” said Mark Rogovin, son of the documentary photographer.
Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin
Rogovin opened his father’s vast collection to Ensdorf, who curated the new exhibit, in consultation with Roosevelt labor historians Erik Gellman and Jack Metzgar. The three Roosevelt professors spent more than four months sifting through more than 1,000 photos of working-class people taken by Rogovin during the last half century in order to present the exhibit that is unlike any previous Rogovin show.
Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin

Gage Gallery

The Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin

Opening reception and presentation by Mark Rogovin
Thursday, January 20, 2011
5-8 p.m

Featured events during exhibition:

  • February 18: Newberry Labor History Seminar
  • March, TBA: annual Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies “Getting Paid to Cause Trouble” panel
  • April 1st: Graduate student History/Sociology Conference keynote event, speaker TBA
  • April 7th: Triangle Fire 100th anniversary event in Gage Gallery featuring Professor Jo Ann Argersinger from Southern Illinois University, co-sponsored by Roosevelt and UIC History Departments and the New Deal Center at Roosevelt.
  • April 20th: Melanie Herzog, Professor of Art History, Edgewood College, presentation on her biography of Milton Rogovin
  • June 23rd: Working-Class Studies conference event, featuring Janet Zandy, Professor of English and American Studies, RIT on the “Working-Class Eye” and Erik S. Gellman, Assistant Professor of History, Roosevelt University on “Rogovin in Historical Context”

Exhibition made possible by generous financial support from Susan B. Rubnitz.
Sponsored by Roosevelt University’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies, and the Labor and Working-Class History Association.

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