1951 October 30

Photo League Disbands; Victim of the Cold War

 

The Photo League was a non-profit organization created in 1936 to promote photography as an art form. It conducted photography classes, held exhibitions, and sponsored some photography projects. A number of its members held left-wing political views and sought to use photography to promote social justice. Because of its members’ political views, the League was included in the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations (ordered by President Harry Truman on March 21, 1947, and published on December 4, 1947). Membership and support quickly fell off, and the League formally disbanded on this day, a victim of the Cold War anti-Communist hysteria.

Learn more about the Photo League and see the work of its members: Mason Klein and Catherine Evans, The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936–1951 (2011)

Watch the documentary about the League: Ordinary Miracles (2012)

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