Max Penson Women Polishing Locomotive
Medium Vintage Gelatin Silver Print
Photo Date 1930s Print Date 1930s
Dimensions 11.5 x 7.25 in. (292 x 184 mm)
Photographer Country Russia (Belarus)
Contact Charles Schwartz
About This Image
Provenance: Purchased from dealer who had acquired print directly from Penson's daughter.
Jewish Russian photographer Penson hailed from the same vicinity in Russia as Marc Chagall and was a singular talent, receiving his first camera as a teaching prize at the age of 28. He ended up in Uzbekistan after fleeing pogroms with his family in 1915, and went on to document aspects that area's radical social and industrial transformation--in particular the major shift in women's work roles and dress, which we see in evidence here. By this point in Uzbekistan, women were already without their heavy, horsehair veils, and were performing heretofore unacceptable labors.
One of Penson's images took the top prize at the 1937 World's Fair in Paris, and his work has undergone a recent revitalization of public interest, with exhibitions in London, Moscow and America.
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