Max Penson

Born: 1893, Velizh (Vitebsk Province)
Died: 1959, Tashkent (Uzbekistan)

Jewish photographer. Born in the family of a Jewish bookbinder called Zechariah Penson in the small town of Velizh near Vitebsk (1893). Fled from the constant threat of pogroms to Kokand in Russian Turkistan (1915). Taught fine art and headed study and industrial workshops in Kokand (1917–22). Awarded a camera by the head of Fergana Region (1921). Moved to Tashkent (1923), where he worked as a professional photographer. Photo correspondent of Truth of the East (1925). Photographed the collectivisation of agriculture, construction of irrigation canals, industrialisation of Uzbekistan and the construction of textile mills (1926–37). Took photographs for Ten Years of Uzbekistan (1935). Worked with Sergei Eisenstein on a film about the Fergana Canal (1940). Stripped of his licence and expelled from work following a wave of official anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union (1948). Worked on his archives and touched up old photographs (1949–59). Died in Tashkent in Uzbekistan (1959). Contributed to the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris (1937, gold medal) and a one-man show in Tashkent (1939).

Random articles