Guide to the Mel Rosenthal Photoprints
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1307
Creators:
Rosenthal, Mel, 1940-
Perry Mapp, Roberta
Dates:
circa 1975-2010
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
49 Items
1 box
Repository:
Black-and-white photoprints from two documentary projects: "In the South Bronx of America" and "Refuge". Mel Rosenthal's mission in the Bronx project was to record the deterioration and poverty there. Some photographs from the Bronx project have also been used in the "Refuge" project, because they document immigrants who moved into the Bronx.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Silver gelatin black-and-white photoprints from two documentary projects: "In the South Bronx of America" (1975-1983, 42 prints) and "Refuge" (6 prints). According to Leonard Kriegel, Rosenthal's mission in the Bronx project and its book version was simply "to record the horror that is there....He wants us to feel shame at what has been done to the people of the South Bronx by a nation so indifferent to suffering that it can pretend the mean streets were burned down by their inhabitants." (Siegel, "In Sorrowful Celebration of the Bronx," Forward, Feb. 23, 2001, p. 13)

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: In the South Bronx of America, as reproduced in the book
Series 2: Not in Book: From the "South Bronx of America" Project and the "Refuge" Project

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Mel Rosenthal was born on March 5, 1940, and grew up close to the South Bronx neighborhood in which he made many of the photographs in this collection decades later, beginning in 1975. He earned a Ph.D. in English literature and American studies from the University of Connecticut, with a dissertation on the effect of alienation on American writers.
He traveled to Africa and worked as a medical photographer at the University Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He engaged in other photographic projects there and soon had dedicated himself to documentary photography. He became a Distinguished Professor of Art at SUNY/Empire State College. He has been the photography editor of culturefront, the magazine of the New York Council for the Humanities. He was awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
He became a Distinguished Professor of Art at SUNY/Empire State College. He has been the photography editor of culturefront, the magazine of the New York Council for the Humanities. He was awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by NMAH Staff, undated
Author
David Haberstich
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Roberta Perry Mapp, July 21, 2012.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Mel Rosenthal Photopprints, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Mel Rosenthal retains copyright. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Immigrants -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.) -- 20th century Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bronx (New York, N.Y.) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives