Michener Art Museum

Aaron Siskind

Aaron Siskind, One-story Stone Cabin, Riegelsville, Springtown Road, photograph from Bucks County, Photographs of Early Architecture, text by William Morgan, Bucks County Historical Society by Horizon Press, courtesy of the Spruance Collection of the Bucks County Historical Society
BORN: December 4, 1903, New York, New York
DIED: February 8, 1991, Providence, Rhode Island

Aaron Siskind, born in New York City in 1903, began his photography career in the 1930s with documentary work. A member of the Photo League in New York in 1930, his early work reveals an interest in formal composition. Siskind taught in the New York public schools while working as a freelance professional photographer. Drawn by both the rural and artistic reputation of Bucks County, Siskind arrived in the area in 1935 to photograph its architecture. He collaborated with Charlotte Stryker, a Columbia student from Doylestown, on Colonial Architecture of Bucks County. His photographs for this volume were artful as well as excellent documentary work of vanishing architectural forms. After completing the Bucks County series, Siskind taught photography at the Chicago Institute of Design and later at the Rhode Island School of Design. In the 1940s, his work became more abstract and critics began to refer to him as an abstract expressionist photographer. Aaron Siskind is today considered a major figure in contemporary American photography.