Mintz, Charles

Charles Mintz, Cleveland, OH, United States of America

Photography is Chuck’s third career the result of a passion acquired in Maine many years ago.  Since becoming full time in 2008, the work has become intensely personal - often involving portraiture. This can be seen in The Album Project, Precious Objects, Costumes and, still in progress, Lustron Stories.  Even Every Place – I Have Ever Lived, where people in the images are largely unrecognizable, is uniquely personal, beginning with Chuck’s childhood home that was in foreclosure and continuing through all his lifetime neighborhoods.
Chuck studied photography at Maine Photographic Workshop, Parsons School of Design, International Center for Photography, Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College.
He is a director of ICA–Art Conservation in Cleveland, OH and the Cleveland Museum of Art – Friends of Photography.  His interest in preservation and conservation is reflected in his service to the ICA and in careful attention to producing work that lasts.   Chuck is a Life Director at Jewish Family Services of Cleveland.

Lustron Stories

Chuck Mintz: Kansas City State Community College, Inkjet Print, 17x22 inch, 2013

These are images of people living in Lustron Homes. Between 1947 and 1950, the Lustron Company of Columbus Ohio manufactured steel houses that were shipped to site and assembled by local contractors. Lustron was a uniquely midwestern response to the huge demand for housing after the Second World War. At the time, owning your
own home had become a cornerstone of the Great American Dream.
Now it is sixty years later. Optimism is not longer our common descriptor. Who lives in these modest homes? It turns out a remarkable cross section of people. Some are rental properties or summer homes. Retired people. The occasional original owner. Sometimes the owner is someone who grew up nearby. Collectors or people just interested in vintage stuff. Young families. Everyone who lives in a Lustron has something to say about it. This piece is a home that was occupied when they built Kansas City State Community College in the sixties. When the original owners moved the home eventually became a practice site for fire fighter rescue training. I photographed each owner and/or renter inside and outside their home. The project is about these people and their stories. Like Every Place I Have Ever Lived, my project on the foreclosure crisis, it is part of my interest in home ownership as part of The American Dream. Characteristic of my work, Lustron Stories is not didactic. The viewer
is expected to form their own conclusions. My projects follow the same trajectory. The intellectual construct, a graphical identity -
these images have a “look”, a hoped for emotional response and ultimately the hope that the viewer sees the political and social reality of what has happened in these years since the Second World War.

collections

His work can be found in museum, private and corporate collections in North America, Europe and Asia including The Bidwell Foundation and the Zanesville (OH) Museum of Art.

books

Precious Objects – King’s Hill Press, 2012
The Album Project – powerHouse Custom Publishing, 2009

links