Streetwise: Artist Bios

Andy Grundberg

(BA Cornell University, MFA University of North Carolina at Greensboro) is a writer, curator, teacher, and arts consultant who has been involved with photography and art for more than 25 years. As a critic for theNew York Times from 1981 to 1991, he covered the rapid ascent of photography within the art world. From 1992 to 1997, he was the director of The Friends of Photography in San Francisco, where he founded the quarterly journal see. Among the major exhibitions he has organized are Photography and Art: Interactions Since 1946 (1987), Points of Entry: Tracing Cultures (1996), Ansel Adams: A Legacy(1997), and In Response to Place: Photographs from The Nature Conservancy’s Last Great Places(2001). His books include Crisis of the Real (1999), Alexey Brodovitch (1989), and Mike and Doug Starn(1990). He is one of the contributors to William Christenberry (2006) and the recent Corcoran exhibition catalog Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change.

Grundberg is Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Chair of the Photography Department at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.

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Diane Arbus

(American, 1923-1971) is one of the most influential photographers of the twentieth century. Her first published photographs appeared in Esquire in 1960, after which she began working as a freelance photographer for Harper’s Bazaar, Show, and The New York Times Magazine. Arbus is most well known for photographing the bizarre and uncovering the familiar within the strange.

During her life, Arbus’s work was included in three major exhibitions, all of which were group shows. In 1965, John Szarkowski featured Arbus’s photographs in a new acquisitions exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1967, she was one of three photographers, along with Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, whose work was the focus of the landmark exhibition New Documents at the Museum of Modern Art. In 1967, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa included her work in a group exhibition.

A year after her death, her work was selected for inclusion at the Venice Biennale – the first work of an American photographer to be so honored. The Museum of Modern Art hosted a major retrospective of her work that traveled through the United States and Canada from 1972 to 1975. A larger, full scale retrospective, Diane Arbus: Revelations, was organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2003.

Arbus was the recipient of many awards and honors, including two Guggenheim Fellowships in 1963 and 1966. Her photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others.

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Ruth-Marion Baruch

(German, 1922-1997) immigrated with her parents to New York City in 1927, and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri in 1944. While working on her MFA during the summer of 1945, she attended the first class at the California School of Fine Arts with her future husband, photographer Pirkle Jones. While at the School of Fine Arts, Baruch studied with Ansel Adams, Minor White, Homer Page, and Edward Weston.

In 1961, Baruch worked on two significant photographic essays: “Walnut Grove: Portrait of a Town”, a collaboration with Pirkle Jones, and “Illusion for Sale”. Both essays were exhibited at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 1964 and 1966 respectively.

Beginning in 1968, Baruch again collaborated with Pirkle Jones on “A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers,”a definitive documentary of the Black Panthers movement. The movement had wide repercussions on American social, political, and cultural life, and the essay was exhibited at the M.H. de Young Museum in San Francisco. The resulting book, The Vanguard: A Photographic Essay on the Black Panthers, was published in 1970 to critical acclaim. In October 2002, Greybull Press published Black Panthers 1968, by Baruch and Jones, in conjunction with a companion exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum.

Baruch’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, and the Amon Carter Museum in Texas. Her photographs are represented in major museum collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the Center for Creative Photography, the Art Institute of Chicago, Polaroid Corporation, and the Oakland Museum.

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Jerry Berndt

(American, b. 1943) is a self-taught photographer raised in his father’s working class bar room on the South Side of Milwaukee. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison and afterwards began his career as a documentary photographer.

Berndt’s photographs incorporate a documentary style with a keen sense of timing and an unerring eye for moody subjects. Influenced by the work of Robert Frank, Walker Evans, and others, Berndt’s first public acclaim was achieved through his photographic work “Combat Zone,” which documented life in Boston’s red light district for the Harvard University Laboratory of Community Psychiatry. In the early 1970s, his series “Nite Works” juxtaposed iconographic images against nocturnal moods in European and American cities after dark.

From 1975-1978, Berndt was the photography editor for the Boston Phoenix, as well as being regularly published in such publications as Time, Newsweek, Village Voice, and Rolling Stone. In 1977, he began teaching photography at the Art Institute of Boston.

Berndt was the recipient of a Kosciusko Foundation grant in 1976 to photograph in Poland, and was awarded a Massachusetts Artists Foundation Fellowship in 1979. In 1987, he was awarded an NEA Visual Artists’ Fellowship, and in 1980, he received an NEA Survey Project Fellowship. Berndt’s photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, and the Museum of Photographic Arts.

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Bruce Davidson

(American, b. 1933) began photographing at the age of 10. While attending Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, he continued to further his knowledge and develop his passion as a visionary photographer. He was later drafted into the army and was stationed near Paris, where he met Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the founders of the renowned cooperative photography agency, Magnum Photos.

Davidson left military service in 1957, and soon began work as a freelance photographer for LIFEmagazine. He became a full member of Magnum in 1958. From 1958-1961, he created such seminal bodies of work as The Dwarf, Brooklyn Gang, and Freedom Rides. In 1962, Davidson created one of his most famous bodies of work, a profound documentation of the civil rights movement in America. In 1963, the Museum of Modern Art in New York presented his early work in a solo exhibition.

In 1967, Davidson received the first grant for photography from the National Endowment for the Arts, having spent two years witnessing the dire social conditions on one block in East Harlem. Harvard University Press published this work in 1970 under the title East 100th Street. The work became an exhibition that same year at the Museum of Modern Art.

Davidson is the recipient of many honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1962, National Endowment of the Arts Grant for Photography in 1967, an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship in 1998 upon his return to East 100th Street to document the changes that had occurred in the intervening 30 years, the Lucie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Photography in 2004, and a Gold Medal Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Arts Club in 2007. His photographs are in the collections of the Center for Creative Photography, the Library of Congress, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

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Robert Frank

(Swiss, b. 1924) studied French for a year in 1940 at the Institut Jomini in Payerne, before beginning a series of apprenticeships and opportunities as a photographer’s assistant in Switzerland between 1941 and 1944.

Considered one of the most influential figures in the history of photography, Frank redefined the aesthetic of both the still and moving image through his photographs and films. Soon after arriving in New York in 1947, Alexey Brodovitch hired Frank as a fashion photographer for Harper’s Bazaar. After receiving his first Guggenheim Fellowship in 1955, Frank embarked on a two-year trip across America, taking more than 28,000 pictures. Eighty-three of those images were ultimately published in Frank’s groundbreaking monograph The Americans. Frank’s unorthodox cropping, lighting, and sense of focus attracted criticism, but was not without supporters. Beat writers Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg felt a kinship with Frank and his interest in documenting the fabric of contemporary society. Eventually, The Americans jettisoned Frank into a position of cultural prominence as the spokesperson for a new generation of visual artists, musicians, and literary figures, both in the United States and abroad.

Frank is the recipient of many honors, including two Guggenheim Fellowships, the first ever awarded to a European photographer, in 1955 and 1956, an American Film Institute grant in 1970, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie Erich Salomon Prize in 1985, the Friends of Photography Peer Award for a Distinguished Career in Photography in 1987, the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography in 1996, an honorary PhD. from the University of Göteborg in 1999, and the Edward MacDowell Medal in 2002. His work is represented in major museum collections worldwide.

Read more about Robert Frank.

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Lee Friedlander

(American, b. 1934) began photographing at the age of 14. In the mid- 1950s, he moved to New York where he began making portraits of Jazz musicians and focusing on street photography. Friedlander was influenced by the photography of Robert Frank, Walker Evans, and Eugéne Atget, yet he created a style all his own through his unique ability to create poignant images of city life, dense landscapes, and countless other subjects. In 1960, Friedlander was awarded the first of three Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships to support his work as a photographer.

Friedlander is widely recognized for a group of self-portraits he began in the 1960s, and his work was included in the highly influential 1967 New Documents exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, along with contemporaries Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand. His work has been published in numerous monographs, including Sticks and Stones, Lee Friedlander Photographs, Apples and Olives, and People at Work, and was the subject of a major traveling retrospective and catalog organized by the Museum of Modern Art in 2005.

Friedlander is the recipient of numerous awards, including the ICP Infinity Award for lifetime achievement in 2006, a Hasselblad Foundation Award in 2005, and three Guggenheim Fellowships in 1960, 1962, and 1977. Friedlander also received a MacArthur Fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation in 1990. His photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum, among others.

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Danny Lyon

(American, b. 1942) was born in Brooklyn, NY and is a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1963.

Between 1963 and 1967, Lyon immersed himself in the outlaw motorcycle culture in the American Midwest. While documenting this culture photographically, Lyon became a member of the Chicago Outlaw Motorcycle club, traveling with them as a participant in their lifestyle. In 1967, Lyon created his first book,The Bikeriders, using the photographs taken during this time. These images glorified the life of the American bikeriders and became a highly influential and popular series of photographs.

In 1971, Lyon published his second book, Conversations with the Dead, with the cooperation of the Texas Department of Corrections. Over 14 months, between 1967-68, Lyon photographed in six prisons, befriending many of the prisoners and documenting the reality of their imprisonment.

Lyon’s work and publications are considered to be a form of photographic “New Journalism”, wherein a photographer immerses themselves completely with the subject they are documenting.

Lyon received a Guggenheim Fellowship for photography in 1969, and a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in photography in 1972 and 1974. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Corcoran Gallery, and the Center for Creative Photography. Lyon is also the founding member of the publishing and filmmaking group ‘Bleak Beauty’. His website is bleakbeauty.com and he blogs as Dektol.wordpress.com. His work is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others.

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Garry Winogrand

(American, 1928-1984) was born in New York City, where he lived and worked during much of his life. In 1948, while studying painting at Columbia University, he became interested in photography. During the 1950s, Winogrand photographed for magazines such as Collier’s and Sports Illustrated. Unsatisfied by the limitation of photographing for print and inspired by Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Winogrand embarked on a cross-country road trip in 1955.

In 1964, he received his first Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship supporting his vision of creating photographic studies of American life, a project he continued until the end of his life. Winogrand photographed the visual cacophony of city streets, people, rodeos, airports, and animals in zoos with an unerring eye.

The first major show of his work was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1963. The exhibition included the work of other influential photographers such as Minor White, George Krause, Jerome Liebling, and Ken Heyman. Winogrand was later included the ground breaking 1967 exhibition at the Museum of Modern ArtNew Documents, along with his contemporaries, Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander.

Winogrand was the recipient of numerous grants, including three Guggenheim Fellowships received in 1964, 1969 and 1979, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1975. Numerous monographs of his work have been published, including ‘The Man in the Crowd: the Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand’, ‘The Animals’, ‘Women are Beautiful’, ‘Arrivals and Departures’ and ‘Winogrand: Figments From the Real World’. His work is included in major museum collections worldwide.

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Ernest C. Withers

(American, 1922-2007) learned his craft as a photographer in the Army during WWII and started a photography studio in his hometown of Memphis, TN after his return from the war. As a photographer deeply rooted in the American south, he photographed subjects ranging from blues and jazz performers, including Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Ike and Tina Turner, to baseball players of the Diamond league, as well as black social life in Memphis.

Withers also documented the civil rights movement, both as an insider and a participant. He is considered one of the most significant photographers of the movement, and self-published a pamphlet on the Emmet Till murder and trial titled, “The Complete Photo Story of Till Murder Case,” which contained 30 of his photographs. In December of 1956, Withers photographed Martin Luther King Jr. boarding one of the first desegregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama, and in the process, documented a turning point in the civil rights movement. In 2000, Withers’ first museum retrospective, Pictures Tell the Story, was organized by the Chrysler Museum of Art.

The recipient of numerous awards, Withers has received three honorary doctorate degrees and was inducted into the Black Press Hall of Fame in 1988. He was named Best Photographer of the Year in 1968 by the National News Association. His photographs are included in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Chrysler Museum of Art, the High Museum, Boston University Howard Gottlieb Special Collections, among others.

Read more about the latest news on Ernest Withers: 
The Commerical Appeal
Seattle Pi

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