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Tod Papageorge began to photograph during his last semester at the University of New Hampshire, where he graduated in 1962 with a B.A. in English literature. In 1965 he moved to New York and was quickly accepted into a small circle of photographers engaged in transforming the documentary "style" of the medium into a poetic form driven more by subjective perception than journalistic literalism. During the 1970s he received two Guggenheim Fellowships and National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grants and, in 1979, after a decade of teaching in New York and at MIT and Harvard, was named the Walker Evans Professor at the Yale School of Art, where, until last year, he also held the position of director of graduate studies of photography. His work has been widely exhibited internationally, and is represented in more than 30 major public collections. It has also been published in three monographs. In 2009 Papageorge was a resident at the American Academy in Rome and, in 2010, he was awarded the Rome Commission in Photography. In 2011, Aperture published Core Curriculum, a collection of his writings on photography. In 2012 he was honored with the Lucie Award for documentary photography.
This lecture is presented in part by SFMOMA.