Walter Rosenblum

Dates1919 - 2006
BornNew York, New York, United States

Walter Rosenblum has spent over sixty years making photographs that celebrate the intimacies of family, the innocence and optimism of youth, and the dignity of poor people. Early in his career, he was influenced by the work of Paul Strand and Lewis Hine, both of whom were mentors of the Photo League in New York. At the age of nineteen, Rosenblum began a longtime association with this organization, which was dedicated to socially concerned documentary photography. He remained active in the Photo League, as chair of the exhibition committee, as a league officer, and as the editor of its journal, Photo Notes, until the league disbanded in 1952.

During World War II, Rosenblum worked as a still photographer and filmmaker in Western Europe. Upon returning to the United States, he began a forty-year career teaching photography at Brooklyn College. Independently, Rosenblum continued pursuing documentary projects of life in Harlem, the South Bronx, and Haiti. His photographs capture the life-affirming human qualities of neighborhoods and their residents and reflect the socially conscious approach that was the foundation of his career.