Gitterman Gallery is proud to present an exhibition of vintage black and white photographs by
Charles H. Traub. The exhibition will open with a book signing and artists reception on
Wednesday, February 16th from 6 to 8 p.m. and continue through Saturday, April 23rd.
This exhibition is comprised of photographs that Charles H. Traub made during his last semester in
college through his time in graduate school and is concurrent with the release of his fourth
monograph, Object of My Creation (Gitterman Gallery, 2011).
Traub studied with Art Sinsabaugh as an undergrad at the University of Illinois. Upon graduating,
he went into the Peace Corps but an injury forced him to return home to Kentucky. There, he
sought out Ralph Eugene Meatyard, the most important creative photographer in Kentucky at the
time. Meatyard became a great inspiration and family friend. Following a brief stint in the army,
Traub was left with little ambition, aside from the desire to pursue photography and thus applied to
graduate school at the Institute of Design in Chicago. He studied primarily with Aaron Siskind,
who became a mentor and lifelong friend.
Traub describes this time in his introduction:
When these pictures were made, I was
still in my salad days. A “yout!”
An admirer! A wannabe! I was looking for me. Hip lifestyles, pseudo
spiritualism and pot euphoria teased maturity. Nature was the supposed
alternative to the material pursuits and the junkyard of suburbia, but from
my service experience I knew all too well the vicissitudes of its wrath.
The darkroom was safer than the tent.
What Traub had captured with his camera lens took on new life in the darkroom: it became an
object of his creation.
After completing his graduate studies in 1971, Traub made three well known series of vignetted
black and white images in Chicago: Beach, Street and Parties. In 1976 Traub
began his first major
body of work in color, Street Portraits, which he continued after moving to New York City in
For the past 35 years, he has worked exclusively in color and was an early proponent of digital
Throughout his career Traub has dedicated himself to photographic education. He has been
instrumental in the founding of both the department at Columbia College in Chicago and the MFA
program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, which he still chairs.
Traub has edited, co-edited, and written many books on photography, its history and critical
thought, including: In the Realm of Circuit: Computers, Art, and Culture, a textbook (Prentice
2003); An Angler's Album (St. Martins Press/Rizzoli, 1990); Road Trip; Photographs 1980-1988,
with Aaron Siskind (Friends of Photography, 1989); Italy Observed in Photography and Literature,
co-edited (Rizzoli, 1988); The New Vision: Forty Years Of Photography At The Institute Of Design
(Aperture, 1982); Light (Light Gallery, 1981); Beach, monograph (Horizon, 1978); In
the Still Life
(Quantuck Lane Press, 2004); Charles H. Traub (Gitterman Gallery, 2006) and many others.
work has appeared in many magazines including: Zoom, Camera International, Camera Arts,
American Photographer, Popular Photography, Aperture, Afterimage, and I.D. Magazine.
Charles H. Traubs photographs are represented in many institutional collections including: Amon
Carter Museum, Fort Worth; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris;
Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Fogg Museum, Boston; George Eastman
House, Rochester; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Philadelphia
Museum of Art, Philadelphia.
Links open PDF files (get Acrobat
The New Yorker
The Brooklyn Rail