Influences: The Photo League

The Photo League: Created in 1936 by photographers Sid Grossman and Sol Libsohn, The Photo League viewed photography as a tool for social change, believing that photographers should “illuminate & record the communities within which they lived.” The Photo League was shut down in 1951 after being designated by the NY attorney general as a “Communist front,” which of course, it wasn’t. More than any other corpus of photography, it is the work of The Photo League that has influenced me the most in the sense, that it drives my desire to have at least some of my work “illuminate and record” life within those communities in which we live, as well as become an agent of social change.

Elks Parade, Jack Manning

Elks Parade, Jack Manning (Photo League member), 1939, from Harlem Document, 1936–40, gelatin silver print