Walter Rosenblum was an influential photographer for over fifty years, as well as an important figure in the advancement of twentieth century photography. His early involvement with photography began when he was seventeen years old, when he joined the Photo League and met Lewis Hine and studied with Paul Strand.
As a World War II U.S. Army combat photographer, Rosenblum landed in Normandy on D-Day morning. There, he joined the anti-tank battalion that drove through France, Germany and Austria; he took the first motion picture footage of the Dachau concentration camp. Rosenblum was one of the most decorated WWII photographers, receiving the Silver Star, Bronze Star, five battle stars, a Purple Heart and a Presidential Unit Citation.
His photographic career spanned major events of the twentieth century; he photographed the immigrant experience in America, WWII, Spanish Civil War refugees, and in East Harlem, Haiti, Europe and the South Bronx. Rosenblum had an extensive teaching career, beginning in 1947 at Brooklyn College. He also taught at Yale Summer School of Art and Cooper Union, as well as abroad at the Rencontre de La Photographie in Arles, France and in Sao Paolo, Brazil. In 1980 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his project "People of the South Bronx".
Together with his wife, renowned photographic historian Naomi Rosenblum, Rosenblum curated international exhibitions including the Lewis Hine Retrospective. His photographs are represented in more than forty international collections including the J. Paul Getty Museum; Library of Congress, Wash. DC; Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Rosenblum's later years reached both acclaim and controversy. Major cultural icons turned to Walter for his insight specifically related to the New York Photo League, which he was greatly committed to and ultimately the Secretary of the league. His involvement in World War II and subsequent military decorations enabled film directors like Stephen Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks to confidently interview him for background information regarding landing in Normandy.
Because he was personal friends with Lewis Hine and Paul Strand, he shared specific insight to their perspectives and technique. Unfortunately, confusion evolved in the late 1990s between prints designated as Hine's which came from the Rosenblum personal collection. Ultimately the confusion was resolved and fortunately did not involve Walter's own photographs which he personally printed.
While he maintained a studio adjacent to his home until his death, he rarely printed works after the mid 80's. International exhibitions have continued to feature Walter in both group and solo shows, specifically in Spain and Italy. GALLERY M has actively represented Walter's personal collection since 1998 both on and offline. His kindness as a person is reflected in the caliber of subjects which he uniquely captured for personal and public reference.