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HomeContents > People > Photographers > John R. Hogan

Dates:  1888 - 1965
Born:  US, NJ, Montclair
Died:  US, NJ, Brielle

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for John R. Hogan
(Courtesy of Christian Peterson)

Hogan exhibited in pictorial salons and was connected to the Photographic Society of America from the late 1930s into the 1950s. He spent most of his adult life in Philadelphia, where he worked as a yacht broker and became widely known for his marine photographs.
Born in Montclair, New Jersey, John R. Hogan graduated from Cornell University in 1911, and served as a pilot during World War I. After the war, he worked in the steel business but eventually settled in boat sales and service.
Hogan’s love for sailing led him to pictorial photography, having acquired his first camera in 1932 to document a sailing race he had entered. He became seriously interested in photography about four years later, after winning a contest and joining the Miniature Camera Club of Philadelphia. In the club darkrooms, he learned how to make exhibition-quality prints of his marine subjects.
By the late 1930s, his photographs were appearing in photographic magazines such as American Photography, Camera Craft, and Popular Photography. Perhaps his most dramatic image, Crossing the Stream, shot at an angle on a sailboat with water crashing by, was reproduced in the American monthlies Camera and PSA Journal, and the English annual Modern Photography 1940-41. The American Annual of Photography included his images every year from 1945 to 1948, and in 1951 ran a feature article by him on—no surprise—marine photography. Amply illustrated with his own images, it concluded with the inspirational idea that one’s best picture is "always in the future."
Hogan submitted his work voraciously and in the 1944-45 season was the world’s leading salon exhibitor, with nearly fifty venues accepting 173 photographs. He was also honored with solo shows—in 1942 at the Smithsonian Institution and six years later at the Brooklyn Museum.
He was particularly active in the Photographic Society of America (PSA). He joined the organization in 1940 and by the end of the decade was its pictorial division chairman. In 1946, he acquired a society fellowship (FPSA) and shortly thereafter was the first recipient of its Stuyvesant Peabody Award. In 1952, after writing a few articles for the PSA Journal, he began editing a regular column for it titled "Picture of the Month." After his death, the PSA designated an annual award in his name for the best marine photograph. John R. Hogan died in early 1965, in Brielle, New Jersey. 
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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