Tannenbaum, Allan

Born in Passaic, New Jersey, in 1945, Allan Tannenbaum has been shooting photographs since the 1960s. He received a BA in Art from Rutgers University in 1967, where he photographed for The Targum – the campus newspaper – and made films for his art courses. He made films as a graduate student at San Francisco State College and as an independent filmmaker in New York. After a stint as a seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine, he taught photography and filmmaking at the Livingston College branch of Rutgers University from 1970 until 1972. Gravitating to the nascent art scene in the SoHo district of Manhattan, Tannenbaum worked as a taxi driver and bartender while looking for work as a photographer. When the SoHo Weekly News commenced publication in 1973, Tannenbaum became the Photo Editor and Chief Photographer. The newspaper started out as an eight-page free paper, but soon became a popular newsstand seller that rivaled the established Village Voice. Tannenbaum relentlessly covered the art world, music scene, politics, show business, and nightlife. The high point of this period was photographing John Lennon and Yoko Ono for the paper – the low point was the murder of John Lennon 10 days later.

His work has appeared in many photo books and exhibitions, as well as appearing regularly in Newsweek, TIME, LIFE, Rolling Stone, Paris Match, and Stern. His photographs have graced the covers of TIME three times, and Newsweek five times. Besides bringing the world to people through his photographs, Tannenbaum donates fine art photographs to various charities to raise money at benefit auctions. Organizations such as ACE, the Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless, Equality Now, and Friends in Deed have all been helped by Tannenbaum’s print donations. He has also donated photographs to the NIST report on the World Trade Center, The National September 11 Memorial and Museum, and to organizations publicizing the plight of those affected by Ground Zero toxic exposures. Tannenbaum also serves as a full board member of Community Board 1 in Manhattan, working on the Tribeca and World Trade Center Redevelopment committees.