Fine Art Photography Daily

Jessica Todd Harper: The Home Stage

JHTcover_smallSome years ago, I wrote “Jessica Todd Harper has a painter’s eye, an artist’s soul, and a photographer’s intuition, and when these three qualities combine, you get images that are sumptuous, rarefied, and exquisite.” Needless to say, I am a big fan and happy to share not only a new body of work, but a new monograph, The Home Stage, published by Damani with writing by Alison Nordstrom and Alain de Botton.  She also opens an exhibition of this work at Rick Wester Fine Art in New York on November 6th, running through January 10th, 2015, with a book signing on November 8th from 1-3pm. Jessica is truly a master of light and her compositions allow her the viewpoint of a participant observer of her family, creating layered Dutch Master tableaux that elevate the ordinary into something quite extraordinary.

Jessica’s photographs have been discussed in The New Yorker, Photo District News, Camera Austria, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, among others. Her work recently appeared in museums across the country in “Masterpieces of American Photography”, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film’s traveling exhibit of work from their collection. She was a project competition winner at Center, Santa Fe and one of “PDN’s 30: Our Choice of Emerging Photographers to Watch”. The sold out “Interior Exposure” (Damiani 2008) was her first book of photographs about family and won recognition from sources as varied as Oprah Magazine, PDN, and the NY Photo Festival. Harper received her BA in history of art from Bryn Mawr College and her MFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has taught at The ICP, Haverford College and Swarthmore College. Harper is represented by Rick Wester Fine Art in New York and Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta.


Marshall With Dad, 2008 ©Jessica Todd Harper

The Home Stage

My interest in art began when I was a small child. My mother used to take my sister and me to all the museums in driving distance from our home in Albany, NY, and we would spend afternoons copying paintings first with crayons and then with charcoal and finally, when we were older and more experienced, with pastels. This traditional artistic preparation took an unexpected course once I started making photographs an a teenager but the familiar canvases of my childhood heroes- John Singer Sargent, Whistler, Vermeer- still have their influences today: I am interested in making intimate, psychological portraits, where environment plays a large role. For subject matter I use what I have at hand: family, friends, and more recently- babies and small children. While the greater themes in my work have been fairly consistent over time the newer subject matter also focuses on the intense and highly charged experience of childhood and having children.


Abby Sees Hugh In The Front Hall, 2013 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Anna and Lucy, 2012 ©Jessica Todd Harper

Becky and June (in my old bedroom)2013

Becky and June (in my old bedroom), 2013 ©Jessica Todd Harper

Becky,JuneJessicaMary2013 (1 of 1)

Becky, June Jessica Mary, 2013 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Self Portrait with Marshall (lion), 2009 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Becky (lake), 2013 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Christopher Holds Nicholas, 2009 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Christopher with Nicholas and Catherine (Descent From The Cross) ©Jessica Todd Harper


Eleanor and Olivia, 2010 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Eleanor In Her Communion Dress, 2010 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Marshall with Family and The World, 2013 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Eleonor (window), 2010 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Family Portrait, 2012 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Isabel In The Dining Room, 2013 @Jessica Todd Harper


Marshall with Christopher and Grandpa (rockinghorse), 2010 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Marshall with Katie and Avery, 2009 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Self Portrait with Christophe r(pregnant), 2007 ©Jessica Todd Harper

Adam with Mary Ann, Marshall and Becky2012

Adam with Mary Ann, Marshall and Becky, 2012 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Self Portrait with Marshall (boat), 2009 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Becky with Mary Anne and Dad, 2012 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Self Portrait with Marshall and Nicholas (stethescope), 2011©Jessica Todd Harper


Self Portrait with Nicholas, Becky and Marshall, 2009 ©Jessica Todd Harper


Sophia and Barbara, 2012 ©Jessica Todd Harper

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