Lot 140: Milton Rogovin

Appalachia #3
Silver gelatin print
8 x 10 inches
Series: Appalachia
Edition 8/11
Signed verso pencil
Courtesy of The Rogovin Collection
Fair Market Value

Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin has been likened to the great social documentary photographers of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis. Milton, who lived to be 101 years old, dedicated his lifetime to creating photographs that speak of the humanity of working people, the poor and the forgotten ones. Milton’s photographs are a part of the documentary photography collections of the Library of Congress, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and other distinguished institutions around the world. “For years Anne and I had read about the serious problems facing miners in Appalachia. We read about the mine explosions resulting in numerous deaths. Many miners suffered from black lung disease, which the mine owners did not consider an illness caused by work in the mines and therefore not subject to workers’ compensation. In 1962 we decided to spend our summer vacation time in the minefields of Appalachia. Most of the larger mines were closed at that time. The only ones functioning were small, run by a handful of miners who leased them from the big mine owners. Day after day we drove around looking for small mines, where I asked the miners if I could photograph them. Mainly I concentrated on the families who lived in the mining areas. I photographed them in their homes and on their porches, where they sat to get some relief from the stifling heat. The results of the first summer’s work were so encouraging that we returned to that area over a period of nine summers.” – Milton Rogovin

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