Discipline: Visual Art – photography

Mel Rosenthal

Discipline: Visual Art – photography
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 2001, 2002, 2007

Mel Rosenthal (1940-2017) worked tirelessly with both images and words to raise awareness of social issues surrounding poverty, housing, healthcare, and equality particularly in the Bronx. The photographs were published as In the South Bronx of American (2000) and exhibited under the same name in a solo exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York (2016). He was a founder of Triage Project, a collective of photographers, doctors, and writers who document homelessness and the health care crisis in New York City. For two decades he documented the lives of recently settled refugees as they began their new lives in America. In 1992 Rosenthal began photographing the Arab-American communities in New York—a community he believed was “often misunderstood and misrepresented in American popular culture today.” He was an educator, teaching at Empire State College/SUNY for nearly four decades

He worked on his book, Refuge, while at MacDowell.



Mel Rosenthal worked in the Nef studio.

Nef Studio, the first entirely new studio built after 1937, was donated by esteemed photographer, explorer, author, and MacDowell Fellow Evelyn Steffanson Nef in 1992. Endowed funds for the studio’s maintenance in perpetuity and an annual Fellowship for photographers were given in addition to funds for construction. Mrs. Nef said she had known about MacDowell all her…

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