Pleasures & Terrors of Levitation #94
Aaron Siskind (1903 – 1991) was an American photographer. He began his foray into photography when he received a camera for a wedding gift and began taking pictures on his honeymoon.
Born in New York City, Siskind grew up on the Lower East Side. Shortly after graduating from City College, he became a public school English Teacher. He began his career in photography as a documentarian in the New York Photo League in 1932. From 1936 to 1940, he oversaw the League’s Feature Group as they created documentary photo essays of political importance, fueled by a desire for social change. Working with that group, Siskind produced several significant socially conscious series of images in the 1930s. Among them the "Harlem Document" remains the most famous.
In 1950 Siskind met Harry Callahan when both were teaching at Black Mountain College in the summer. Later, Callahan persuaded Siskind to join him as part of the faculty of the IIT Institute of Design in Chicago (founded by László Moholy-Nagy as the New Bauhaus). In 1971 he followed Callahan (who had left in 1961) to teach for the rest of his life at the Rhode Island School of Design.