Mark Markov-Grinberg

(1907 - 2006) Russian


Photojournalist Mark Markov-Grinberg was born in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, in 1907. His first job was for the Sovyetski Yug (Soviet South) newspaper in 1925. He was also a freelance photographer for Ogonyok. In 1926, Markov-Grinberg moved to Moscow, working numerous trade union newspapers. He joined the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) in 1930 and his work appeared in all of the major Soviet publications in the 1930s, including USSR in Construction. As part of the Soviet social realism movement, Markov-Grinberg was commissioned to create a photo essay about the day in the life of a young man, Nikita Izotov, as a means of creating a Soviet hero children could emulate. He lived with the Izotov family for six months and his articles on the family appeared in Soviet Photo throughout 1934, and later in European publications including AIZ. This work launched his career a Stalin-era photographer and he became one of the most important Soviet photographers of his generation. During World War II, Markov-Grinberg served as a soldier and then as a war correspondent for the military publication Slovo Boitsa (Word of Soldier). He lost his job at TASS in 1948 during Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaign, which accused Jews of lacking full allegiance to the Soviet Union. He died in Moscow in 2006.
Mary O'Donnell Hulme
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