Sutnik -_Henryk_Ross_photographing_for_identity_cards 

“Henryk Ross photographing for identity cards, Lodz Ghetto,” 1940. Art Gallery of Ontario, gift of Archive of Modern Conflict, 2007.

Recovering History: The Buried Negatives of Henryk Ross

Friday, 9 March 2018, at 18:30
Concordia University, EV-1.605 (map)

Maia-Mari Sutnik
Curator Emeritus Photography, Art Gallery of Ontario

Henryk Ross worked as an official photographer, employed by the department of Statistics, Lodz Ghetto, in occupied Poland between 1940-1944. Having access to film and processing facilities to produce identity and propaganda pictures, he recorded the grim reality of the struggling Jewish community at considerable risk to his life. Upon the final liquidation of the Ghetto by the Nazi regime, Ross buried his negatives. The negatives were excavated in 1945. While many were destroyed, nearly 3000 negatives miraculously survived. The importance of Ross’s rescued negatives resides in their value as primary objects of examination and research, revealing a narrative of the photographer’s original point of view, and revising the perception of mediated published versions of Ghetto life.

Over her long and fruitful career at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Maia-Mari Sutnik founded its photographic exhibition program and photography collection of historical, vernacular, and contemporary photographs, beginning in 1978. Among the 70 exhibition she has organized are Josef Sudek: The Legacy of a Deeper Vision and Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. A pillar of Canadian photographic studies – now at Ryerson University as an adjunct faculty member – Maia Sutnik is currently working on a book about Toronto photographer Michel Lambeth.


Of Related Interest:

Maia-Mari Sutnik, Ryerson University

Digging Deeper: Maia-Mari Sutnik and Memory Unearthed