About the Book
And yet, I am able to hold in my hand a group of real-photo postcards taken of my grandfather as a young man between 1915 and 1919, and also his 1912 Russian passport picture as a fourteen-year-old. All of the postcard photographs without his future wife were made in downtown Boston at the Comet Photo Studio, located at 1108 Washington Street, and after 1915, at number 1003, near his two older brothers’ shops. At first, I thought the two men in these pictures with my grandfather were his cronies and not family members, but when I discovered that his brothers’ cigar and tailor shops were almost next door to the photographer (Izzy lived and worked three and half miles away, across the Charles River in the Central Square section of Cambridge), it seemed it must be them. Why did he have these pictures taken almost twice a year? Photographs such as these were intended to show a person’s physiognomy and reveal (at least generically or symbolically) how they wished to be seen, or how the photographer was able to please them. “This is me, here I am, and you can see for yourself how lucky I am.”
Mark Goodman graduated from Boston University, in 1970, with a degree in Anthropology, and then studied photography with Minor White. A year later, he attended Apeiron Workshops in Photography and began a twenty-year documentary project taking pictures of a generation of children growing up in the nearby village of Millerton, New York. He received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1973) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1977); his photographs were featured in Aperture 19:4 (1975); exhibited in a one-person show at the George Eastman House, in Rochester, New York (1980-1981) ; and A Kind of History: Millerton, New York 1971-1991 was selected by Vince Aletti in the Village Voice as one of the Top Ten Best Photography Books of 2000. Since 2005, he has published limited edition books and portfolios of photographs and personal essays.