From Ashes to Ashes: Portrait of Bill Jay On View at MOPA

Release Date: 
May 23, 2011

The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is proud to announce a unique new acquisition donated by British artist and educator Bill Jay. This unusual 6.25 x 4.75 image is a gum bichromate print of the artist himself, formed from his ashes following his death and cremation. The portrait fulfills the wish of the artist and was created by Bill Jay’s close friend and colleague, James Hajicek.

The image came to MOPA as one of ten original prints bequeathed to museums and photographic institutions around the world. The package included the photograph itself, as well as a letter from Bill Jay describing his interest and intent with the project, as well as a synopsis from Hajicek on the process involved in turning the ashes of his friend into a photograph, a living testament to a man who loved photography.

The image of Bill Jay is now on view as part of Inside Out: Portraits from the Permanent Collection and will be on view through September 25, 2011. An Audio|Insight podcast is also available for smart phone users who wish to hear Bill Jay’s letter read aloud. You can also check out the podcast at:

Press Opportunities:
To request the high resolution image, schedule an interview, or to request additional information, please contact marketing and communications manager, Kristine Page, at 619.238.7559, ext. 203 or via email (

MOPA Information:
The Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) is one of the premier institutions in the United States devoted to photography, film and video. Since its founding in 1983, MOPA has been dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting the entire spectrum of the photographic medium. The Museum’s endeavors consistently address cultural, historical and social issues through its exhibitions and public programs.

# # #