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Overview

The Masters Series: Mary Ellen Mark 

October 1 to November 1, 1996. 

Mary Ellen Mark has created memorable photographs and achieved world-wide visibility through her work over many years for major American and European publications. Mark has, in her 30 year career, photographed both the famous and those whom she calls the "unfamous," the destitute and marginalized. Her subjects include Federico Fellini, Mother Teresa's mission in Calcutta, heroin addicts in London, circuses in India, a homeless family in America, a school for the blind in the Ukraine and patients in a Oregon mental hospital.

Mark sums up her work by saying, "My curiosity is mostly about people whose lives aren't known. They haven't been overphotographed, and I am the first person to tell their story. When working for magazines, I believe in the strong single image. Every photograph has to stand on its own. Thinking this way has allowed many of the photographs I've taken for magazines to become images that transcend the month or week that the publication is for sale. I like to think of a great assignment as a kind of grant that enables me to build a body of work. I owe a lot to the many editors that have given me this opportunity."

The Los Angeles Times describes Mark "as a great photographer...with a clear vision. Mark is clearly involved with her subjects in deeply compassionate ways. Her pictures...equally avoid sentimentalism and sensationalism in favor of human dignity." 

Ms. Mark is the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in 1965, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, two Page One Awards, two Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, the 1987 Photographer of the Year Award by the Friends of Photography, a George W. Polk Award, a Creative Arts Awards Citation For Photography from Brandeis University, The Dr. Eric Solomon Award, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994.

Ms. Mark has published 10 books of her photographs: Passport (Lustrum Press, 1974); Ward 81 (Simon and Schuster, 1979); Falkland Road (Knopf, 1981); Mother Teresa's Mission of Charity in Calcutta (Friends of Photography, 1985); The Photo Essay: Photographers at Work (A Smithsonian Series, 1990); Streetwise (second printing, Aperture, 1992); Mary Ellen Mark: Twenty-Five Years (Bullfinch Press, 1991); India Circus (Chronicle, 1993 and Takarajimasha Inc., 1993); Mary Ellen Mark: Portraits (Motta Fotografia, 1995); and A Cry for Help (Simon and Schuster, 1996).

Details

  • Date

    Tuesday, October 1, 1996 - Friday, November 1, 1996

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