MAX PENSON (1893-1959)
Max Zacharovich Penson (March 17, 1893, Velizh, Russia - 1959, Tashkent, Uzbek SSR) is a well-known Uzbek photographer, photo artist, photo correspondent for Pravda Vostoka and the All-Union TASS news agency.
Max Penson was born in a poor family in Velizh, Vitebsk province on March 17, 1893 in the family of a bookbinder, an employee of a local printing house. He graduated from Velizh city school in 1911, then studied for six months at the art school in Mirgorod, Poltava province, and then at the Art and Industrial School of the Antokolsky Society (in the decorative painting department) in Vilno.
In 1915, Max Penson and his family moved to Kokand, where until 1917 he worked first as a bookkeeper and at the same time as a drawing teacher at a local school. Then from 1917 to 1922 he worked in the Kokand Department of Public Education as the head of training and production workshops. In 1921, his life changed dramatically when he received a camera. In the period from 1920-1940 gg. he becomes one of the prominent professional photographers of Uzbekistan and the Soviet Union, who recorded the life of the people and the changes in economic progress. During this period, he shot more than 30,000 photographs.
Since 1923, by order of the People's Commissariat of Education, he was recalled to the city of Tashkent. Then, after staff reduction in the People's Commissariat of Education, he worked until 1925 as an accountant in a tobacco shop in Tashkent. Since 1925 he began to make photo reports and since 1926 he began working as a photojournalist in the newspaper "Pravda Vostoka". His photo reports were very popular in the Soviet Union in the 20s and 30s of the XX century. Collaborated with the magazine "The USSR at the construction site." His most famous photograph - a portrait of the "Uzbek Madonna", received the highest award at the World Exhibition in Paris in 1937 - depicts an exempted Muslim woman, who took off the veil and nursing the baby.
In 1939, he photographed the construction of the Great Fergana Canal. In 1940, Penson met Sergei Eisenstein, who said about him:
"There are not so many in the world of masters who have chosen a specific area for work, dedicated themselves completely to it, and made it an integral part of their own destiny. It is impossible to talk about Fergana, without mentioning the ubiquitous Penson, who went with his camera all over Uzbekistan. His archive, unparalleled, contains materials that make it possible to trace one of the periods of the history of the republic year after year, page by page. The artistic development of Max Penson, his fate were associated with this remarkable country. "
In 1949 he was forbidden to continue working as a photojournalist. Max Penson died in Tashkent in 1959.
(Photo archive is provided by Max Penson's daughter - Dina Khodjaeva and Karimbabaeva Sh)