May 25, 1985: Milton Rogovin: The Forgotten Ones, a major retrospective of Rogovin’s work as a contemporary documentary photographer, will open at The Brooklyn Museum on May 30 and be on view through July 23, 1985.
A native New Yorker born in 1909, Rogovin has been taking photographs for the better part of his 75 years while living in Buffalo and practicing optometry.
For the past thirty years, Rogovin has expressed his concern about contemporary society by taking pictures of people in seemingly simple settings. The result is a body of work that is both unique and startling in its directness and impact. Rogovin’s photographs graphically document the human condition.
Rogovin works in the manner of the great documentary photographers Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine and Paul Strand. In 1972 he began a project of photographing the people who lived in a six square block area of Buffalo, New Yorl. This intense study focused in on Puerto Ricans, Blacks, Native Americans and other ethnic groups. As this particular area in Buffalo was a neighborhood in transition, Rogovin referred to these people as “the forgotten ones.” He made a commitment that through his art the lives of these people would not pass unnoticed. In one of his series, “Working People,” Rogovin follows the lives or workers from their monotonous hours on assembly lines, construction gangs, in mines, and then into their homes, creating a series of pictures contrasting the brutal, mundane life at work with the personal and often poignant lives they lead at home.
The images resulting from Milton Rogovin’s devotion to his subject have given him a place among the unique contributors to 20th century photography. This exhibition was organized by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo and is supported by grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.
Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1985, 026.