Photographer Charles H. Traub has been photographing the world for half-a-century. In addition, the 72-year-old has had an illustrious career in academia where he was chair of the photography department at Columbia College Chicago, where he established its Museum of Contemporary Photography (MOCP) in 1976 and became a director of New York’s Light Gallery in 1977. Traub also founded the MFA program in Photography, Video, and Related Media at the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 1987, which was the first program of its kind to fully embrace digital photography.
But it is his slightly ironic real world witness color pictures that the Kentucky-born photographer is still most famous for. He has published more than 15 books of his photographs and writings on photography and media, one of which has managed to catch the spirit of a place and a time in a particularly expressive way.
During the 1980s, Traub traveled through Italy, visiting various parts of the country for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. It is during these travels that the material for the fascinating book called La Dolce Via (the Sweet Way) was collected.
According to the photographer, the street culture of Italy captured in these photographs manifested through freedom, slow-paced life, and diversity is now almost gone as Italy struggles to overcome the problems that arose in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Traub therefore describes these photos as “a time capsule” of an Apennine Peninsula that no longer exists. If you would like to see more of it, you can find the full series in Charles H. Traub’s book Dolce Via: Italy In the 1980’s.