Sol Prom is the photographer pen name of Solomon Fabricant (1906 – 1989). He joined the New York Photo League when he was in his early 30s while he was working on his doctorate in Economics at Columbia University. A serious amateur photographer, he was typical of most members of the Photo League–a first generation Jewish-American who had attended public school and City College before going on to graduate school.
Throughout his life, both early on in his photographs, and later as a prominent economist, he was concerned about the human condition and was committed to bringing about social reform. Starting as a research assistant, he rose to become Director of Research at the National Bureau of Economic Research where he did pioneering research on the measurement of productivity. He was also a Professor of Economics at New York University and served on many private and governmental commissions and boards.
He was a member of the Photo League between 1936 and 1939 and worked with the Feature group on three projects: “Park Avenue North and South”, “Dead End: the Bowery”, and “Harlem Document.” Having a life-long interest in photography, Prom remained an amateur photographer throughout the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s using his home darkroom. From then on, subject matter was primarily family and people and sights on travels throughout the world.
In the 30’s and early 40’s, his Harlem Document photos, as well as those of other members of Aaron Siskind’s Feature Group, were exhibited and published widely. More recent exhibits including his work have been at the National Gallery of Canada, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Museum of Art of the University of Iowa, the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin, the Columbus Museum of Art, OH, and, at the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City. In addition, he was represented in “The Radical Camera: New York’s Photo League, 1936-1951”, an exhibit cosponsored by the Jewish Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art. His work from the Photo League years is in private collections as well as in the permanent collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, OH, and the Jewish Museum, New York City. Prom is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery, and, a website devoted to his photography can be found at www.solpromphotography.com.