Hirsch Projects

Light Research

Artist Books:
Two Corpses: American Architecture of the Twentieth Century Mashups, 2019

The Prophecy of Rothman, 2018

Children of a Vanished World, 2015

The Practical Exemplar of Architecture, 2013

Green Book, 1970

Morgan, 1968

Image Portfolios:
Shining Brow, 2006

Manifest Destiny & The American West, 2005

Unseen Terror, 2005

World in a Jar, 2004

Architecture of Landscape, 1999

Underground City, 1977


Artist Talks as eBooks

Photography Books

Book Reviews


Buffalo and WNY




Ghosts: French Holocaust Children: A Conversation with Robert Hirsch by Linda Gellman, The Jewish Journal, May 2019

Getting to Know Your Art Community: Robert Hirsch

by Tina Dillman July 13, 2016

CEPA Gallery’s Ghosts: French Holocaust Children on view now
The Jewish Journal of Western New York, July, 2016

On View/Ghosts from History
Buffalo Spree Magazine, June 2016

Review: Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960
by Professor Elizabeth Otto, History of Photography, May 2015

"Les Cookson: Maker of Historic Optic Devices"
The Handmade Photograph, #3, May 2015

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960,
from The Handmade Photograph, April 2014.

A Conversation About Photography; A. D. Coleman and Robert Hirsch

Keith Carter: Transcendental Realist

Brian Ulrich's Copia: A Tale of American Plenty

Brian Taylor and the Photographic Narrative

MIA FINEMAN Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop

Arthur Tress: Documentary Fiction
Photo Technique, January/February 2013

Carl Chiarenza: Transmutation, Turning Detritus into Splendor
Photo Technique, November/December 2012

The Fantastical Machines of Wayne Martin Belger
Photo Technique, September/October 2012

Stephen Berkman: Documentary Photographer of the Mind
Photo Technique, July/August 2012

Afghan Box Camera Project
Photo Technique, March/April 2012

Daniel Beltra
Daniel Beltra: Photography and the Environment

Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970–1980

Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change

An Interview with Robert Hirsch

by Tom Persinger

Milton Rogovin: Buffalo Troublemaker

By Robert Hirsch
From The Photo Review, March/April 2011

Interviews with CEPA's Directors
Light Work, Contact Sheet #131 www.lightwork.org
(Adobe PDF 24MB)

Carl Chiarenza: Internal Landscapes, Photo Review, V. 28, No. 4, 2009

“Tom Persinger: The Genesis of F295,” Photo Ed, Spring, 2009

Eight artists give the online visitor their artists' books.

In Search of the Pleasure Principle
(Adobe PDF)

WARRIORS WITHOUT WEAPONS, "Road To Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956 - 1968,"

Afterimage V. 36 No. 3, p. 27, Review by Robert Hirsch

A Century of Colour Photography: from the autochrome to the digital age

The God of Time

World in a Jar, Quicktime Slideshow and Commentary

Point and Shoot Exhibition Catalog: Curated by Robert Hirsch and David Harrod
- Available as a PDF -

The Photobook: A History (Volume II)
Review by Robert Hirsch

William Christenberry
Book Review by Robert Hirsch

The Muse of Place & Time
An Interview With William Christenberry

Flexible Images: Handmade American Photography, 1969 - 2002

Robert Hirsch: The Future of Photography

New Mexico Photographer Magazine, Summer 1999

Robert Hirsch Interview on Unity Groove with Lady Beth at WVOF 88.5/Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, December 4, 2019. A 30-minute discussion about Hirsch's Mugs Anthropometric Portraits and a number of his publications.

The Institute for the Study of Religion in Community Life

THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2019

McGann Conference Center, O'Connor Hall St. Joseph's College, 155 W. Roe Blvd., Patchogue, NY 11772

Click here for more information

Robert Hirsch Interview on Unity Groove with Lady Beth at WVOF 88.5/Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT, November 13, 2019.
A 30-minute discussion about Hirsch's Ghosts: French Holocaust Children and the history of anti-Semitism.

FAST, CHEAP, & Easy: The Copy Art Revolution
CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY September 14 – December 15, 2018.
Curated by Robert Hirsch, Kitty Hubbard, Klaus Urbons, and Tom Carpenter.

Fast, Cheap & Easy: The Copy Art Revolution CEPA Gallery exhibition catalog is now available

This 80-page, full-color, spiral bound CEPA Gallery exhibition catalog includes: individual project descriptions, artists’ statements and bios, plus hundreds of exhibition and historical images, artists’ book examples, and complete checklist. Additionally, there are essays by Robert Hirsch, Beate Reese, Kate Eichorn, and Herbert Lachmayter.

$25 + shipping

Contact info@cepagallery.org

Fast, Cheap & Easy: The Copy Art Revolution is an international survey featuring over 100 artists from the 1960s to the present who have explored the neglected and underserved role of the copy machine as a quick, affordable, and innovative method to express ideas and inexpensively produce and circulate copy art to a larger audience. Specially, the exhibition focuses on artists who worked in proximity to Rochester, San Francisco, and Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany.



Ready, set, art! Cepa remembers the xerography revolution By Elizabeth Licata.

THE DAILY PUBLIC, Week of 11/28/18 - 12/4/18
Do Copiers Dream of Electrostatic Sheep? By Shane Meyer.

+ click to enlarge +

Robert Hirsch's Ghosts: French Holocaust Children will be kicking off the programing for the 53rd Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo Book and Arts Fair on May 6, 2019.

For details see: broadwayworld.com

Robert Hirsch Interview by Judge Penny Wolfgang on WECK Radio. A 30-minute discussion about the driving forces behind Hirsch’s Ghosts: French Holocaust Children.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019 - 7:30 pm
Sponsored by the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies

Robert Hirsch: Ghosts Exhibition Interview on Unity Groove with Lady Beth @ WVOF 88.5/Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT
February 13, 2019

Ghosts: French Holocaust Children
Walsh Gallery
January 24 – March 2, 2019

Now Available

Light and Lens, 3rd Edition
By Robert Hirsch and Greg Erf

May 2018

424 pages | 350 Color Illustrations


About the Book

Quickly and simply puts you on a personal path of expressive imagemaking.

The new edition of this pioneering book allows students to acquire an essential and fluid foundation for digital photography. Fully updated, it clearly and concisely covers the fundamental “forever” concepts of imagemaking, how to use digital technology to create compelling images, and how to output and preserve images in the digital world. This expanded gateway to learning investigates history, theory, and methods, offering classroom-tested assignments and exercises from leading photographic educators, approaches for analyzing, discussing, and writing about photographs, and tools to critically examine and make images with increased visual literacy.

New to this edition:

Completely revised, updated, and simplified to reflect technological advances that promotes direct and strategic imagemaking

Expanded coverage of cell phone/mobile photography

Enlarged treatment of careers options

Inspiring images with artist commentary by 250 international photographers that encourages one to discover their own visual path.


Photographic Possibilities
The Expressive Use of Concepts, Ideas, Materials, and Processes, 4th Edition
By Robert Hirsch

© 2018 – Focal Press

280 pages | 200 Color Illustrations

About the Book

The long-awaited new edition of this seminal text features clear, reliable, step-by-step instructions on innovative alternative and traditional photographic processes. Over and above a full update and revision of the technical data, there are new sections on digital negative making, electrophotography, and self-publishing. Foremost practioners, including Edward Bateman, Dan Burkholder, Tom Carpenter, Mark Osterman, France Scully Osterman, Jill Skupin Burkholder, Brian Taylor, and Laurie Tümer, have contributed their expertise to this edition. Perfect for practitioners or students of handmade photography, the book covers classic black-and-white film and paper processes, hand-coated processes like Cyanotype, and Platinum/Palladium. Also featured is an enhanced section on gum bichromate, invaluable instruction on workflow, and the integration of digital, promoting the effective union of one’s concepts, materials, and processes. The book showcases work and commentary from more than 150 international artists.


Seizing the Light
A Social & Aesthetic History of Photography, 3rd Edition
By Robert Hirsch

© 2017 – Focal Press

596 pages | 370 Color Illustrations

About the Book

The definitive history of photography book, Seizing the Light: A Social & Aesthetic History of Photography delivers the fascinating story of how photography as an art form came into being, and its continued development, maturity, and transformation.

Covering the major events, practitioners, works, and social effects of photographic practice, Robert Hirsch provides a concise and discerning chronological account of Western photography. This fundamental starting place shows the diversity of makers, inventors, issues, and applications, exploring the artistic, critical, and social aspects of the creative process. The third edition includes up-to-date information about contemporary photographers like Cindy Sherman and Yang Yongliang, and comprehensive coverage of the digital revolution, including the rise of mobile photography, the citizen as journalist, and the role of social media.

Highly illustrated with full-color images and contributions from hundreds of artists around the world, Seizing the Light serves as a gateway to the history of photography. Written in an accessible style, it is perfect for students newly engaging with the practice of photography and for experienced photographers wanting to contextualize their own work.


Southern Light Gallery

Robert Hirsch Ghosts French Holocaust Children

Robert Hirsch's Ghosts: French Holocaust Children catalog is now available for free download at www.lightresearch.net

Ghosts is a three-dimensional photo-based installation that acts as an ethereal commemoration for the 11,000 Jewish children who were deported from France to Auschwitz and other Nazi death camps in railway boxcar convoys. The 30-page catalog, sponsored by CEPA Gallery, features project images and installation views plus an essay: "Before Ghosts: A Brief History of Anti-Semitism" by Dr. Patricia E. Behre, Associate Professor of History at Fairfield University.

The project is available to travel to your institution. For details contact: Hirsch@LightResearch.net

Past Exhibitions:

Ghosts: French Holocaust Children Futernick Art Gallery of the Dave and Mary Alper JCC in Miami, February 12 - March 19, 2017

Ghosts: French Holocaust Children Martin Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, October 2 - November 13, 2016

Ghosts: French Holocaust Children CEPA Gallery’s Big Orbit Project Space exhibition, June 11, 2016 through July 24, 2016

Robert Hirsch, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children
(The Eye of Photography)

On View/Ghosts from History
Buffalo Spree Magazine
June 2016

CEPA Gallery’s Ghosts: French Holocaust Children on view now
The Jewish Journal of Western New York
July, 2016

Getting to Know Your Art Community: Robert Hirsch

by Tina Dillman
July 13, 2016

Ghosts Viewer Comments  

I admire your willingness to take on broad cultural/historical subjects and collaborate beyond the narrow field of fine artists-very refreshing. Ghosts gets to that rare place of having real emotional resonance. Ghosts reminds me of when I first saw Robert Frank’s "The Americans,” and his broad look and critique of American culture. In present times, few artists could or would dare to define such a big and difficult "concept." The art world, often dominated by internal, esoteric, and puny concerns, needs to see such work! Congratulations on a great and massive project. I hope it travels long and far.

+ Press Release PDF +

The Department of Art and Tower Fine Arts Gallery Present:

Immovable Camera Exhibition Explores the Impact of the Photocopier on Making Art
an exhibition curated by Robert Hirsch, Tom Carpenter, and Kitty Hubbard in collaboration with the Xerox Historical Archives

October 27 through December 11
Tower Fine Arts Center Gallery at The College at Brockport, 180 Holley Street, Brockport, NY
Opening Reception, October 27, 4-6pm

Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California Presents:

2015 International Juried Exhibition—A Single Photograph Competition.
Juror: Robert Hirsch

Artist Talk, November 21, 2015,4pm 
Opening Reception, Catalog Sales & Announcement of Award Winners: November 21, 2015, 5pm to 7pm
Exhibition: November 21 through January 9, 2016

For more information +

As part of the 2015 F295 Symposium in Pittsburgh, Brian Taylor and Robert Hirsch will be giving a presentation: “Virtual World, Virtual Gallery?” on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 11 AM.

They will be examining the question: “Is it still necessary to stand in front of an actual original work of art?”

 For details visit: http://f295.org/2015/


Light Sensitve 2015

Exhibition Dates: March 7 - April 18, 2015 Opening Reception: Saturday, March 7, 6 - 8pm

Art Intersection presents our fourth annual Light Sensitive exhibition, with guest juror Robert Hirsch – artist, curator, and author.

Light Sensitive celebrates the art of creating handmade images using traditional photographic print making processes. Work this year comes from national and international artists and includes c-prints, platinum/palladium, cyanotype, gelatin silver, gum bichromate, wet plate collodion tintypes, and many other printing processes. The Art Intersection curatorial staff will select three artists from Light Sensitive to show additional work during an exhibition running from December 2015 to January 2016.

Light and Lens
© David Lebe. Angelo On The Roof, 1979.
Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960
September 19 – December 14, 2014

Transformational Imagemaking - CEPA Archive


The Vast Universe Between the Artist’s Eye and the Artist’s Hand: Transformational Imagemaking

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960, Interview with Dan Burkholder

Disturbing the Surface: A Discussion of the Concepts Informing Transformational Imagemaking
CEPA Gallery Loft, Saturday November 15, 2014 at 7pm


Review: Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960
By Professor Elizabeth Otto, History of Photography, May 2015

Art Blart, artblart.com
By Dr. Marcus Bunyan

Book Review: Robert Hirsch’s Transformational Imagemaking
By , October 20, 2014 for One Twelve Publishing

Age is but a number 82-year-old photographer Duane Michals speaks about his life's work
By Tori Roseman On October 14, 2014 for The Spectrum

Transformational Imagemaking HANDMADE PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE 1960
Book Excerpt from Shutterbug Magazine, December 2014

Handmade Photos: Pre-Photoshop manipulated images at CEPA
By Jack Foran ArtVoice V13 N40

Feel the power of the image at CEPA exhibit
By Joseph DiDomizio, Thursday, October 2, 2014, for The Buffalo News

Manipulation of photography creates an aura of reality, Photographer Brian Taylor speaks to students about photo manipulation
By Samaya Abdus-Salaam, October 2, 2014, for The Spectrum

Transformational Imagemaking Traveling show

The Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College is pleased to present:

Things that might have happened, selections from Transformational Imagemaking.
March 16 - April 16, 2016
Martin Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA

Light and Lens Ghosts: French Holocaust Children

For exhibition details, download catalog PDF


Light and Lens Now Available:

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960

Transformational Imagemaking: Handmade Photography Since 1960 is a groundbreaking survey of significant work and ideas by imagemakers who have pushed beyond the boundaries of photography as a window on our material world. These artists represent a diverse group of curious experimentalists who have propelled the medium’s evolution by visualizing their subject matter as it originates from their mind’s eye. Many favor the historical techniques commonly known as alternative photographic processes, but all these makers demonstrate that the real alternative is found in their mental approach and not in their use of physical methods.

Available on Amazon.com

View an on-line preview of Transformational Imagemaking, Handmade Photography Since 1960.

Transformational Imagemaking: An Interview with Robert Hirsch

Robert Hirsch Transformational Imagemaking by Aline Smithson http://lenscratch.com/2014/03/robert-hirsch-transformational-imagemaking


Light and Lens Now Available:

Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age is now available in Chinese and German editions.


Light and Lens

Untitled 253, 1994. 36 x 44 inches. Gelatin silver print.

A catalog with an essay by Robert Hirsch is available. Generous support for the catalog is provided by Mr. Richard Albright, Dr. Gary Brenner, and Anonymous.

Photographic Works by Carl Chiarenza

November 11 - December 19, 2013. Curated by Robert Hirsch

The Weeks Gallery at Jamestown Community College
525 Falconer Street, Jamestown, NY 14702 weeksgallery.sunyjcc.edu

Artist Lecture | Opening Reception (free and open to the public) Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.

Many people think of photography as a window on the world, a process that delivers recognizable pictures of concrete subjects. Since the 1960s, Carl Chiarenza (b. 1935) has been part of a movement to expand the medium’s conceptual boundaries. Transmutation: Photographic Works by Carl Chiarenza chronicles how the artist’s work has evolved from tightly framed, documentary-style images into a vocabulary of visual abstraction. He achieved this by taking leave of the natural landscape and constructing collages from scrap materials for the purpose of being photographed under a copy stand with a 4x5 inch view camera. The resulting work, often relating to the landscape, dismantles formal media boundaries and permits photography to merge with graphic design, painting and sculpture.

Previous Exibitions

Spectrum Gallery 100 College Avenue Rochester, NY 14607 www.lumierephoto.com
Axom Gallery 176 Anderson Ave, Suite 303, Rochester, NY 14607 www.axomgallery.com
September 7 - October 12, 2013

Anderson Gallery November 17, 2012 - March 17, 2013
University at Buffalo, One Martha Jackson Place, Buffalo, NY 14214 www.ubartgalleries.org


Photography exhibition set for JCC Weeks Gallery The OBSERVER November 8, 2013

Fries, Chiarenza exhibits offer much to ponder: Two exhibits give the mind much to ponder by: Colin Dabkowski / Buffalo News

Light and Lens
Download full brochure
The Sixties Cubed: Signs, Symbols, and Celebrities

October 1 through December 6, 2012
For details see: weeksgallery.sunyjcc.edu

The exhibition included numerous photomontages, a Timeline, Button Women, rotating Mobile, monolithic Peace Sign, and Brion Gysin’s flickering, hypnotic Dream Machine. The installations help baby boomers and fans of the era reconstruct the past through histories, stories, and confessions.

Jamestown gallery presents Robert Hirsch's work
Buffalo News, Gusto Section, Friday, September 28, 2012

Light and Lens


As part of The Everson Museum of Art’s The Other New York: 2012 (TONY: 2012) the Onondaga Historical Association is pleased to announce the exhibition of Robert Hirsch’s Manifest Destiny & The American West. The installation consists of about 1000 individual jars, each containing an image with two of the same pictures printed on a black field (similar to a stereocard). The jarred images have been placed in three of the front gallery windows of Onondaga Historical Association, providing a “transparent” viewing experience. This is adjacent to other image jars that displayed on pedestals inside their gallery, which are juxtaposed against a series of 40 x 60-inch prints on the interior gallery walls. This amalgamation of historical and original images offer a complex and variable narrative that explores the relationships between the people, land, and animals of North America’s frontier as it unfolded across a blood-streaked stage.

For more information on TONY2012, click here.

Light and Lens Imaging the Shoah: A Post Documentary Approach

Robert Hirsch presented selections from World in a Jar: War & Trauma and a work in progress, Ghosts: French Holocaust Children, at the 42nd Annual Scholars’ Conference on the Holocaust and the Churches (ASC). The ASC is oldest interdisciplinary, interfaith, and international gathering on this topic in the United States – meeting in Rochester, N.Y. at Monroe Community College, May 12-14, 2012.

Light and Lens Now Available:

The second edition of Light and Lens: Photography in the Digital Age, expands and updates its groundbreaking predecessor, clearly, and concisely providing introductory instruction and the building blocks necessary to create thought-provoking, digitally-based photographs. It is an adventurous idea book that features numerous classroom-tested exercises from leading photographic educators, and encourages critical exploration and the creation of images from the photographer’s eye – an aesthetic point of view.


+ More images and information about the project.


Luminous Lint

Images and Words: An Online History of Photography

This feature of Luminous-Lint is a collaborative project between Alan Griffiths and Robert Hirsch. It's
purpose is to provide an authoritative, online history of photography that will evolve and expand over
time with moderated input from the global photographic community.

Visit the project at: http://www.luminous-lint.com/IaW/

Sky is Falling

The World in a Jar: War & Trauma,
Edinboro University’s Bruce Gallery September 1 – 22, 2010.

Sky is Falling
The Sky is Falling, shown in conjunction with Karen Engle's reading from her book, Seeing Ghosts: 9/11 and the Visual Imagination. Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Thursday, April 8, 2010.

The World in a Jar: War & Trauma – Pictures and the Nature of Evil by Robert Hirsch
The PIEA Journal for Photography Education (Photographic Imaging Education Association)

Robert Hirsch’s Unseen Terror: The Bomb, Other Bogeymen, and a Culture of Fear can be seen at the NOORDERLICHT INTERNATIONAL PHOTOFESTIVAL’S HUMAN CONDITIONS, September 6 – October 4, 2009, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Hirsch’s project featured in “War Machines” an exhibition curated by Wim Melis that also included work by Gabriel Jones (US), Shunkichi Kikuchi (Magnum), Simon Norfolk (GB), Simon Roberts (US), Paul Shambroom (US), P.W. Voigt (DE),
and Yosuke Yamahata (Magnum).

In an ambitious and probing photo festival Noorderlicht curator Wim Melis and five guest curators offer their views on themes that define the human condition. Stuart Franklin, Lauren Heinz, Simon Njami, Marc Prüst and Bas Vroege take us with them to conflict areas, and provide their commentary on developments in the vanguard of engaged, narrative documentary photography. On the basis of weaponry Melis underscores the absurdity of war. Six diverse exhibitions, but one powerful thread: the love and the horrors of which man is capable; the struggles that remain hidden from the eyes of the world. Thus Noorderlicht deliberately turns the spotlight on the footnotes of world history, on ordinary people and their circumstances, their will to live and their capacity to destroy.”

For details visit: Unseen Terror: The Bomb, Other Bogeymen, and a Culture of Fear


Panel Discussion at the Burchfield Penney Art Center:
Leading sociologists from Canada, the US and the UK with artist Robert Hirsch discuss the installation of World in a Jar.

Burchfield Penney Art Center At Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222

+ More Information, including videos of individual panel members. +

Gateway: Selections from the Collection
Nov. 21, 2008 - April 19, 2009

View the Burchfield Penney 360

The exhibition will features contemporary work from the Burchfield Penney's collection, including: sculpture, representational and non-representational painting, photography, drawings, prints, video and mixed media installations. Featured works by Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, John Pfahl, Russell Drisch, and Robert Hirsch.

The Buffalo State College Dance Ensemble(right) was among several performers Saturday during the 31-hour opening celebration of the Burchfield Penney Art Center in front of Robert Hirsch's World in a Jar installation. The new state-of-the-art facility is located on the Buffalo State College campus.

The city’s newest hot spot: An arts center
By Mark Sommer, News Staff Reporter

Shock and Awe
Exhibits large in scope make for an engaging show

Robert Hirsch: World in a Jar: War & Trauma

Following an aesthetic strategy of search and discovery, World in a Jar: War & Trauma utilizes the camera as a cultural tool to curate and re-imagine key components from historical and original images to explore the workings of our collective societal memory involving loss, popular culture, religion, tragedy, and the nature of evil over the past four centuries.

Using the Shoah as it point of departure, World in a Jar is a free-form sculptural montage that rethinks the customary linear narrative by offering a supermarket of moveable images. The original installation consisted of 850 individual image jars, each one serving as an interchangeable viewing block, allowing it to be a perpetual work in progress that recreates itself each time it is installed. This permits each photograph to not only present its own split-second historical reference, but also informs the context and interpretation of the surrounding images. There are no captions to anchor the images to particular events, which allows the images to transcend their specific time-based circumstances. Rather, images freely float in an ambiguous and enigmatic space, encouraging viewers to interact and expand meanings based on their own experiences. This engagement is a reminder how photographs continue to seduce us into believing that they are objective records, when in fact all images are not what they initially appear to be and require thoughtful interpretation. This open-ended production, emulating how the puzzles and paradoxes of our own memories are constructed, can convey an endless tale about the human condition that exists outside of chronological time.