Milton Rogovin


About This Series

Milton and Anne Rogovin began visiting Mexico in the early 1950s. Milton photographed in Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and the Yucatan. Milton photographed at a health clinic, at Mayan ruins, and at outdoor markets, where the favorite of the series, “The Iguana Seller (photo ID: Early_Mexico_001)”, was taken. They joined printmaker Raul Anguiano, of the Taller de Graphica Popular in Mexico City, for a field trip to document some of Mexico’s indigenous peoples.

Artist Bio

Milton Rogovin (born December 30, 1909) is a documentary photographer who has been compared to great social documentary photographers of the 19th and 20th centuries such as Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis. His photographs are in the Library of Congress, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Center for Creative Photography and other distinguished institutions.

He was born in New York City. After graduating from Columbia University, Rogovin moved to Buffalo in 1938 and established an optometry practice. In 1942, he married Anne Snetsky. In the same year, he was inducted into the Army, in which he worked as an optometrist. After his discharge from the Army, Milton and Anne had three children: two daughters (Ellen and Paula) and a son (Mark). Rogovin was called before the House Unamerican Activities Committee in 1952. Like many other Americans who had looked to Communism as a model for improving the lot of workers and became subjects of the Committee’s attentions in the postwar period, he was discredited—without having been convicted of any offense—as someone whose views henceforth had to be discounted as dangerous and irresponsible. The incident inspired Rogovin to turn to photography as a means of expression; it was a means to continue to speak to the worth and dignity of people who make their livings under modest or difficult circumstances, often in physically taxing occupations that usually receive little attention. Rogovin has traveled throughout the world, taking numerous portraits of workers and their families in many countries. His most acclaimed project, though, has been “The Forgotten Ones”, sequential portraits taken over three decades of over a hundred families who resided on Buffalo’s lower west side. The project was begun in 1972 and completed in 2003, when Rogovin was 93. In 1999, the Library of Congress collected more than a thousand of Rogovin’s prints. (wikipedia)

Milton Rogovin’s Website




  • KatieStoeller

    Those are beautiful photos. I love all photos that Milton Rogovin takes. I just saw some featured in an exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum, they were absolutely amazing.

  • markrogovin

    Thanks SO much in honoring my father Milton Rogovin on his 100th Birthday. We invite your viewers to peek at the Rogovin website http://www.miltonrogovin.com. There are portfolios for download for classroom use and a new posting that walks a viewer thru Milton's darkroom–listing his cameras, darkroom tools and chemicals.
    Enjoy the website and pass it along to other artists and educators.

    –Mark Rogovin markrogovin@gmail.com