Read More UMBC News Blog Stories

January 20, 1999


The life and work of Mildred Grossman (1916-1988), a labor photographer who was dismissed from her public school teaching position during a McCarthy era purge, is brought to public attention for the first time in a major exhibition at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. Grossman's photographs of labor unions, civil rights marches, and the American working class capture moments from the turbulent 1950s and 1960s, and document the people and the events that shaped post-World War II America.

Co-curated by Tom Beck, chief curator, and Cynthia Wayne, curator of exhibitions at the Kuhn Library Gallery, the exhibition is the first to examine Grossman's work in the context of the artistic, social and political climate of the 50s and 60s and to identify her contributions to American documentary photography of the period.

Drawn from UMBC's expansive archive of Mildred Grossman photographs (holding over 50,000 images and negatives), this exhibition is a magnificent opportunity to reflect upon the important role social photography has played and continues to play in shaping the understanding of history.

Mildred Grossman's life and work exist at the intersection of four of the defining socio-political developments of post-WWII America. As a victim of McCarthyism, she stands as a representative of those who triumphed in the face of persecution. As a woman devoted to family and career, she stands as a representative of those whose excellence of achievement does not correspond with the dearth of recognition from their accomplishments, and as a window on efforts to enjoy public and private lives prior to the women's movements of the 1960s. As a portrait artist, with pictures of the poor and working classes in the U.S. and around the world, she brings to life the individuals of international capitalism. As a union activist, she stands as a window on the world of progressive unionism at the moment when unions enjoyed more support and strength than at any other time in American history.

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Wednesday, March 10, 4 - 6:30 p.m.
with reception to follow, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

A discussion about the life and work of the artist and her influence and importance to documentary photography in light of her associations with the Photo League and labor photography will be held between five distinguished speakers: Mr. Paul Becker, former active member of the New York City Teachers Union; Dr. Steven I. Jackson, adjunct professor of public policy at Cornell University; Dr. Naomi Rosenblum, art historian and author of History of Women in Photography; Dr. Walter Rosenblum, photographer and former president of the New York Photo League; and Dr. Nick Salvatore, professor of American history at Cornell University.

*Sign language interpreter provided with advance request. Please confirm by March 1, 1999.

Eye of the Storm is supported in part by the Baltimore County Commission on the Arts & Sciences, the Friends of the Library and Gallery, the Communications Workers of America Higher Education, the Maryland Humanities Council, through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by an operations program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council. At UMBC, support has been provided by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Africana Studies, American Studies, History department, Humanities Forum, Special Sessions Policy Committee, Women's Studies Program, and the Women's Center.

An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition complete with interpretative essays will be available for purchase.

The Library Gallery is located in the Albin O. Kuhn Library and is open Monday through Friday, noon - 4:30 pm, on Thursdays to 8 p.m., and Saturdays, 1 - 5 p.m.

Admission is free. Public parking is available.

The Library Gallery will be closed for Spring Break, March 19 - 24, 1999.

For more information, please call 410-455-2270 or visit the UMBC homepage at for all press releases and calendar information.

# # #

Posted by dwinds1 at January 20, 1999 12:00 AM