Mark Markov-Grinberg

(Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 1907 - 2003, Moscow, Russia)

Europe, Russian

Mark Markov-Grinberg’s photography was uniquely timed to tell the story of the Soviet Union; his life spanned the entire length of the country’s existence. Markov-Grinberg was one of the most prominent photographers of the socialist realist movement, whose members created a narrative of prosperity and happiness through idealized images of Soviet life. Markov-Grinberg studied photography in secondary school and begin his career at the Sovyetsky Yug (Soviet South) newspaper in 1925. In 1930, he joined the Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), which commissioned him to create a photo essay about the day-to-day life of Nikita Izotov, depicting the young miner as a socialist hero. Markov-Grinberg lived with the Izotov family for 6 months and published the resulting photographs in Soviet Photo in 1934. During World War II he served as a war correspondent for the military publication Boitsa (Word of Soldier). Markov-Grinberg lost his position at TASS in 1948 due to Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaign, but he found work for the Red Army Illustrated Gazette and the Soviet Union Agricultural Exhibition, a trade show and amusement park in Moscow. From 1957 to 1973 Markov-Grinberg worked for Klub I Khudozhestvennaya Deyatel’nost (Club and Art Hobby) magazine.

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