German-born Stefan Hirsch (1899-1964) was a painter and educator. Elsa Rogo (1901-1966) was married to Hirsch and was an artist, educator and journalist. They were active in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, and Vermont, and traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Latin America where they documented local arts and crafts, village life, and befriended prominent Mexican artists.
Born in Nurnberg, Germany, Stefan Hirsch grew up in Europe and studied art at the University of Zurich. After settling in the United States in 1919, he took summer courses under Hamilton Easter Field in Ogunquit, Maine. Hirsch developed a Precisionist style combined with Social Realism but much of his work was difficult to restrict to one specific style. Hirsch was a founder and exhibitor at the avant-garde Salons of America which served as an alternative to the Society of Independent Artists. During the 1930s and 1940s, Hirsch participated in the U.S. government's Federal Art Project and painted murals in Aiken, South Carolina and Booneville, Mississippi. Hirsch began his teaching career in 1937 at Bennington College in Vermont, and later accepted a position at Bard College where he served as the chairman of the art department until he retired in 1961.
In 1930, Hirsch married Elsa Rogo. Together, they traveled throughout Mexico and Latin America where they became involved in the social and art scenes. They befriended prominent Mexican artists like Diego Rivera and David Siqueiros. As a journalist, Rogo documented Mexican life, events, and art extensively through photographs. Rogo also served in the U.S. Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, established in 1940 to promote cultural diplomacy and solidarity primarily in Latin America. In Taxaco, Mexico, she taught art to school children. Her book, Walls and Volcanos: The Creative Impulse of the Mexican People, was published in 1937.
Stefan Hirsch died in 1964. Elsa Rogo died in 1966.