Sid Kaplan: A Life in Photography


Tuesday, September 19th
6-7:30PM || Core Club, NYC

Join feminist Jewish photographer, Joan Roth, for an exclusive interview with the legendary photographer and master printer, Sid Kaplan.

Tracing the course of Kaplan’s fifty year career, the conversation will focus on Kaplan’s work and his darkroom collaborations with Robert Frank, Weegee, Louis Stettner, Cornell Capa, Lou Faurer, Allen Ginsberg and others.

Kaplan has an expert eye and is one of a kind. Unfailingly understated, he has documented iconic American moments with some of the most famous cultural figures and photographers of our time and in his own

work. These pictures have become part of our history and lore. How they came to be is the result of technical precision – a deep understanding of light, frame, color – combined with a certain outlook on life and art. This is also the story of Kaplan’s life, and his person.

Before our conversation, guests have an exclusive viewing of Kaplan’s private collection including some of his most rarely viewed works.

Beautiful though they are, Kaplan’s photos convey an almost tragic sense of history and loss, as if by photographing, he literally captured on paper moments and history that were fleeting, never to come again.  His is a New York of austere exteriors and hidden humanity and passion.

His works on display include images of the World Trade Center; of the Jewish Lower East Side; and of a wilder, less tame and yet deeply innocent New York, where children jumped from piers to swim in the Hudson and girls furtively applied lipstick on building stoops.



Sid Kaplan is one of a kind. A master printer and passionate photographer, he has been on the scene in New York for over 50 years. Still working today, he also teaches at the School for Visual Arts and at conferences around the world, and he still loves the art of darkroom development, even in this digital age.

Joan Roth has been called the “pre-eminent living photographer of Jewish women worldwide” (Phyllis Chesler). A Detroit native, she has made her life in New York. From homeless women in our own streets to Jewish women in Ethiopia and far beyond, Roth’s projects bring to light what is otherwise unseen and focus on hidden beauty and the inevitability of change.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, the largest Jewish humanitarian organization, understands the power of photography to move the heart and open the mind.  Partnering with prominent photographers, including Roman Vishniac and many others over its 102-year history, JDC has been able to bring to light some of the most dire situations for children and elderly around the world, and to facilitate lifesaving humanitarian care.

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