The Baker Museum presents
Photographer Frank Stewart
in conversation with curator Ruth Fine
Frank Stewart, artist Ruth Fine, curator
Frank Stewart’s Nexus: An American Photographer’s Journey, 1960s to the Present is a dynamic retrospective of Stewart’s photography that centers on his sensitive and spontaneous approach to portraying world cultures and Black life in many forms — including music, art, travel, food and dance. Join Frank Stewart and curator Ruth Fine for a lively conversation about Stewart’s work in photography over the course of half a century.
Image: Frank Stewart (American, b. 1949). Self-portrait, Dominican Republic, 1986. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 in. Collection of the artist.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Frank Stewart grew up in Memphis and Chicago. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was a student of Garry Winogrand, and received a BFA in photography from The Cooper Union in New York, where he studied with Roy DeCarava. Stewart became the assistant and photographer to the artist Romare Bearden after the two met in 1975 while filming the documentary Two Centuries of Black American Art, a project organized by David C. Driskell.
Stewart has exhibited photographs at The High Museum, Atlanta; Cooper Union Gallery, Studio Museum in Harlem, Schomburg Center for Research and the International Center of Photography in New York; Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; and Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the first team of North American journalists invited by the Center for Cuban Studies to visit Cuba in 1977. He was also invited by the Los Angeles Olympic Committee to photograph the 1984 Olympic games. He has twice been granted a photographic fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a New York Creative Artist Public Service Award. He is a member of Kamoinge, an African-American photography collective based in New York. For three decades, he photographed the renowned performers for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Ruth Fine was a curator for the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., for four decades, culminating as Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art. Now based in Philadelphia, she is co-curator with Fred Moten for Frank Stewart’s Nexus: An American Photographer’s Journey, 1960s to the Present, the catalogue for which includes her informative conversation with the photographer. Fine has known Stewart for more than twenty years; their first project together was the book Romare Bearden: Photographs by Frank Stewart, published in 2004. She was also curator for the 2019 exhibition The Sound of My Soul: Frank Stewart’s Life in Jazz at the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery for African and African American Art at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center. Among other artists Fine has written about are James McNeil Whistler, John Marin and Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as Romare Bearden, Mel Bochner, Larry Day, Wendy Edwards, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and Martin Puryear. Fine has also written on Claire Van Vliet’s Janus Press and several other print workshops including Brandywine Workshop and Archives and the Fabric Workshop and Museum, both in Philadelphia, and Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles.
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