ASX.TV: Milton Rogovin – “The Working-Class Eye of Milton Rogovin” (2011)


A one-of-a-kind, vintage photo exhibit that tells compelling tories 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.

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.

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.

“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.

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.

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