Issue #179  3/2/2011
Photography Obituaries


John Craig, photo historian and author, collector and dealer, and author of Craig's Daguerreian Registry, died on Friday, February 25th, after a long bout with cancer. I knew John for many years and I considered him a friend. John started collecting 19th-century photography about 1969 while still at Wesleyan University. He started work as a photographer-reporter at the Hartford Courant while still in school, but continued to work there for another six years after graduation. At the same time he started his own retail camera store and served as photographer with the Connecticut Army National Guard. He wrote a column for Shutterbug magazine for about ten years. His company became a major resource for photography equipment instruction books--most long out of print. At the time of his death, John had 155,000 instruction booklets in stock for thousands of cameras, accessories and projectors; and nearly 10,000 other photographic items. His Craig's Daguerreian Registry, which can still be found online and in the multi-softbound editions, is one of the most respected and utilized research sources for daguerreotype collectors and curators. He will be greatly missed, especially by the Daguerreian community. A celebration of Craig's life will be held at his home in the early summer. His wife is in charge of arrangements. Donations in his memory may be made to either charity: The Daguerreian Society, PO Box 306, Cecil, PA 15321-0306, or The Lymphoma Research Foundation, 115 Broadway, Suite 1301, New York, NY 10006. (Alex Novak)


Clif Garboden was a dear friend of nearly 45 years, going back to our days at Boston University, the infamous BU News of the 1960s, and later what eventually became the Boston Phoenix. He passed away on February 10th. The cause of death was pneumonia, a complication of a reoccurring cancer that he thought he had beaten six years ago. Born in Pittsburgh in 1948, Clif was a talented photographer, writer (including some wonderful articles on other photographers, such as Richard Avedon, Harry Callahan and Edward Weston) and editor at the Boston Phoenix, which, along with the Village Voice, is the country's most influential "alternative" newspaper. You can see a lot of Clif's articles here: http://www.thephoenix.com/boston/authors/clif-garboden/ . As Boston Phoenix writer Peter Kadzis noted in that paper's obituary: "I don't think it was a coincidence that Clif entered journalism through a viewfinder. His eye, his unerring sense of what made for a potent image, was the foundation of his skill, the root of his talent." He started out as assistant photography editor on the BU News, during the most tumultuous days of the 1960s. He wound up as senior managing editor of the Boston Phoenix. He also served as president of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies (AAN). A memorial service at the Framingham Friends Meeting House at 841 Edmands Road, Framingham, MA, will be held at 2 pm on April 9th. He is survived by his wife Susannah, his son Phil, his daughter Molly, and their children. (Alex Novak)


Milton Rogovin, a documentary photographer who championed the underprivileged, passed away last month at the age of 101 at his home in Buffalo, NY. Rogovin's images of the urban poor and working classes in Buffalo, Appalachia and other areas of the country helped build his reputation as a photographer. His archive now resides in the Library of Congress. In 1957, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee but refused to testify. The Buffalo Evening News called him "Buffalo's Number One Red," and he and his family were ostracized. With his optometrist business destroyed by the negative publicity, he turned to photography, documenting the lives of Buffalo's indigent in his surrounding neighborhood. In this he was mentored by the photographer Minor White. In 1962 Rogovin's photographs were published by Aperture magazine with an introduction by W. E. B. Du Bois. He went on to photograph Buffalo's impoverished Lower West Side, American Indians on reservations in the Buffalo area, and West Virginia and Kentucky miners. In the 1960s he was invited to Chile by the poet Pablo Neruda to photograph its landscape and people. The two produced a book entitled, "Windows That Open Inward: Images of Chile." The New York Times obituary quoted Rogovin as saying in a 2003 interview: "All my life I've focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."


Photographer Gita Lenz died peacefully on Thursday, January 20th at a nursing home in New York City. The first major exhibition of Lenz's work was in a three-person show, "The Third Eye" with John Reed and Don Normark, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 1952. In 1955, Steichen included her work in another exhibition at the New York Museum of Modern Art, this time in the landmark exhibition, "The Family of Man". Gita Lenz lived most of her life in Greenwich Village. From the 1940s through the mid-1960s, Gita created a body of work that withstands comparison to many of the better known photographers of the time. A self-described "Sunday photographer" in the 1940s, her work was often characterized by an interest in the city and life around her. While the social documentary tradition definitely had a distinct influence early on, Gita would soon take an interest in abstraction, isolating aspects both in nature and in the urban environment, stripping away details, framing images unconventionally and adding new depth and meaning to mundane and dilapidated subjects. Gita would go on to work professionally for commercial and editorial clients in the 50s and 60s. (Information supplied by Tom Gitterman, who represented Lenz)


Julian Tucker Baker, Jr., 71, died peacefully at his home in Raleigh, NC, on February 16th. Born in 1939, Baker was a passionate photography collector, who did not shy away from difficult images, collecting work from a diverse group of artists, including--among many others--Frederick Sommer, Clarence John Laughlin, Arthur Tress and Peter Hujar. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Julian's name, to the Fisher House Foundation, Inc., 111 Rockville Pike, Suite 420, Rockville, MD 20850, info@fisherhouse.org ; or to the USO of North Carolina, Inc., P.O. Box 91536 Raleigh, NC 27675, www.uso-nc.org .


Photographer and camera shop owner Raymond D'Addario died of a stroke in his hometown of Holyoke, MA at the age of 90. He was an Army photographer whose photographs of Hitler's aides and top officers during the Nuremberg war crimes trials helped bring the Nazi atrocities to the attention of the world. His image of the 21 defendants in the court docket at the Palace of Justice is perhaps the most famous of all the photographs taken during the trial. While he was only one of about a dozen still and motion-picture photographers assigned by the Army Pictorial Service to document the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, he was the most prolific member of the team and is considered by many to be its most consequential.