Photographing Industrial Buildings

Almost since the beginning of photography, photographers concerned with the built environment have photographed industrial buildings. The development of photography both as a professional practice and as an art form coincided with Modernism, a cultural movement which emerged out of social changes brought on by industrialization and urbanization. Photography was both a by-product of Modernism, …

More Poland, Spring 2014

I made my eleventh trip to Poland at the beginning of May, 2014, with the intention of photographing many historic Jewish sites, mostly cemeteries and synagogues, not visited on earlier trips. In seventeen days, my wife, Naomi, and I travelled a long arc though central Poland, starting with Bialystok in the north, all the way …

A Radio Interview about Early Sunday Morning

The subject matter of the Early Sunday Morning exhibition, Toronto’s disappearing heritage buildings and streetscapes, got a lot of attention from Toronto media. One of the nicest reactions came from CBC Radio’s Matt Galloway, who talked with me at some length about the exhibition, its genesis and its importance for Toronto, on his top-rated morning show, Metro …

Early Sunday Morning

I began making photographs of architecture and the urban landscape more than thirty years ago, a vocation inspired by my love for the city where I was born and grew up, Montreal. In the 1950s it was Canada’s largest and one of its oldest cities, and had a built environment of tremendous historic variety and …

Yiddish Music in Pictures

Yiddish was the first language of both my mother and father, and all my life I have regretted not learning more than a smattering of it. Like many immigrant Jews who arrived in Canada in the early part of the 2oth century, my parents spoke Yiddish at home and among their family and friends, most …

Gardens of History

My own family has no direct connection with Poland or the Holocaust but I cannot remember a time when the fate of European Jewry has not held a central place in my imagination. As a child raised by immigrant parents in Montreal’s tradition – bound Jewish community in the decade after the Second World War, …

The Disappearing City

In his 1932 pamphlet entitled “The Disappearing City” and in subsequent writings, Frank Lloyd Wright proposed the creation of a utopian social environment that was neither urban nor rural, but a sprawling settlement of one-acre plots inhabited by families self-sufficient as farmers and artisans and bound together by, of all things, the growing ownership of …