The Radical Camera

Sid Grossman, Coney Island, 1947

In 1936 a group of young, idealistic photographers, most of them Jewish, first-generation Americans, formed an organization in Manhattan called the Photo League. Their solidarity centered on a belief in the expressive power of the documentary photograph and on a progressive alliance in the 1930s of socialist ideas and art. The Radical Camera, on view starting tomorrow at the Jewish Museum in New York, presents the contested path of the documentary photograph during a tumultuous period that spanned the New Deal reforms of the Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951 is on view November 4 through March 25.