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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Boris Dobro

Dates:  1890 - 1975
Born:  Russia

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Boris Dobro
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Russian-born Boris Dobro graduated from the Berlin Polytechnic Institute and during the 1930s made his way to New York to escape Nazi suppression. During his career in photography, he was engaged in such fields as news, micro, portraiture, commercial, industrial, and finishing, and he eventually became a fellow of both the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS) and the Photographic Society of America (FPSA).
Between 1934 and 1941, he exhibited sporadically in pictorial salons, in Antwerp, Budapest, Chicago, and New York. However, he resumed exhibiting in about 1947 and by a few years later was raking up large numbers. In the 1951-52 season, the last one recorded in the American Annual of Photography, he had 159 of his prints accepted at more than fifty salons. He showed as late as 1955 in the Rochester International Salon of Pictorial Photography, which used one of his images for the frontispiece of its catalog. He was active in the camera club in Arroyo Grande, a city about seventy-five miles up the coast from Santa Barbara.
Dobro wrote a few articles and had his work reproduced in the photographic press. Camera featured an image of clowns by him on the cover of its May 1948 issue and the American Annual of Photography included his pictures in 1940, 1941, and 1951. Camera also ran articles by him on reducing the contrast of values in a print (February 1951) and eliminating nonessential aspects of a picture (December 1949). He ended the latter article by saying, "in pictorial photography you have one of those rare paradoxes where you are often getting more by taking less." Dobro was most influential as a teacher at the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, from 1948 into the 1960s. While he was very generous with his time and expertise, he, nevertheless, was a demanding professor. The school honored Dobro by naming after him both an award of excellence and a scholarship in photojournalism, among its most sought after prizes. 
Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012) 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of Christian Peterson and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 1 June 2013. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
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