Photo Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Jim Dow
“What I love about Jim Dow’s pictures is that they’re not kidding.” Ian Frazier, introduction to American Studies (2011)
Born in Boston, MA in 1942, Dow earned a B.F.A. in graphic design and an M.F.A. in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1965 and 1968, respectively. Walker Evans' seminal book American Photographs (1938) was an early influence. Dow recalls the appeal of Evans' "razor sharp, infinitely detailed, small images of town architecture and people. What stood out was a palpable feeling of loss...pictures that seemingly read like paragraphs, even chapters, in one long, complex, rich narrative." Soon after graduate school Dow had the opportunity to work with Evans. He was hired to print his mentor's photographs for a 1972 Museum of Modern Art retrospective.
Dow has taught photography at Harvard, Princeton, Tufts University, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and his work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States as well as Argentina, Canada, Portugal, and the United Kingdom. He has photographed extensively all across the United States as well as in Argentina, England, Mexico and Uruguay.
Dow's work has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The New England Foundation for The Arts, Tufts University, and The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, as well as numerous private organizations and individuals.
In addition to appearing in numerous publications over the years, he has authored two books, Marking The Land (2007) with the North Dakota Museum of Art and American Studies (2011) with The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.