Issue #102  3/15/2006
Walter Rosenblum Dies Amidst Controversy

Walter Rosenblum, noted photographer and teacher, died on January 23rd at the age of 86. His last words were reportedly "…to see the light."

He served first as secretary and later as president of the New York Photo League. He had been an assistant to Life photographer Elliot Elisofon and then a WWII photographer, who recorded the landing in Normandy in 1944 and was the first Allied photographer to enter the concentration camp at Dachau after its liberation. In 1998 he was given a lifetime achievement award by the International Center of Photography.

Rosenblum was president of the Photo League, where photographer Lewis Hine left his archive after he died in 1940, which was to be given to the George Eastman House. The major controversy that will forever taint Rosenblum's reputation is that many believe that he may have been responsible for printing and then passing off new Hine prints as vintage, complete with forged signatures in some cases.

The Hine's scandal broke in 2001, although many in the field suspected the problem for many years before scientific proof was finally offered which clearly showed that modern prints were being sold as vintage. In addition, Rosenblum was later accused of backdating some of his own photographs that he had represented as vintage.