October 11, 2011

Mel Rosenthal Retires After 40 Years at Empire State College

"Forty Years in Pictures" Exhibit at the College's Metropolitan Center

Photo of Rosenthal in suit “Forty Years in Pictures,” a very special exhibit of photography by SUNY Distinguished Professor Mel Rosenthal, at left, will be on display on the third floor of the Metropolitan Center, 325 Hudson Street in New York City, to celebrate the college’s 40th anniversary year. An opening reception is set for Tuesday, Oct. 11, 6-8 p.m.

Rosenthal is a South Bronx native who grew up in the 1940s and ‘50s close to the neighborhood captured in his book of photos, “In the South Bronx of America,” a project that grew out of his teaching at Empire State College in the ‘70s.

An interview, slideshow of photos from his book, and a remembrance of Rosenthal’s career is featured on the New York Times website. photo from Rosenthal's "In the South Bronx"

He also collaborated with writer John Brentlinger to produce a documentary book in 1989, when many South Bronx residents – driven out of their homes by fire – fled to their native Puerto Rico, and created a touring exhibition of photographs that records “new Americans” in New York state and their experiences pursuing the American dream.

Rosenthal began his photography career as a photographer at the University Hospital in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where he worked with Brazilian linguist Paolo Freire, who was directing a UNESCO-sponsored literacy project to teach people how to read and write by allowing them to discover the power of words and images.

 Rosenthal teaches photography and directs the college’s photography program in New York City. He is also the photography editor of culturefront, the magazine of the New York Council for the Humanities, and has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. He graduated with a Ph.D. in English literature and American studies from the University of Connecticut, where he researched the effect of alienation on American writers.

For more information email Tara Maldonado or call 646-230-1278.

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