Stephen Shore

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Stephen Shore
Stephen shore.jpg
Born (1947-10-08) October 8, 1947 (age 75)
New York City, US
Known forPhotography

Stephen Shore (born October 8, 1947) is an American photographer known for his images of banal scenes and objects, and for his pioneering use of color in art photography.[1] His books include Uncommon Places (1982) and American Surfaces (1999), photographs that he took on cross-country road trips in the 1970s.[1]

In 1975 Shore received a Guggenheim Fellowship.[2] In 1971, he was the first living photographer to be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where he had a solo show of black and white photographs.[3][4][5] He was selected to participate in the influential group exhibition "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape", at the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House (Rochester, New York), in 1975-1976.

In 1976 he had a solo exhibition of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art.[6] In 2010 he received an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Photographic Society.[7]

Life and work[edit]

Shore was born as sole son of Jewish parents who ran a handbag company.[8] He was interested in photography from an early age. Self-taught, he received a Kodak Junior darkroom set for his sixth birthday from a forward-thinking uncle.[4][9] He began to use a 35 mm camera three years later and made his first color photographs. At ten he received a copy of Walker Evans's book, American Photographs, which influenced him greatly.[4] His career began at fourteen, when he presented his photographs to Edward Steichen, then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.[4] Recognizing Shore's talent, Steichen bought three black and white photographs of New York City.[4][6] At sixteen, Shore met Andy Warhol and began to frequent Warhol's studio, the Factory,[4] photographing Warhol and the creative people that surrounded him. In 1971, he was the first living photographer to be exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, with a show of black and white, sequential images.[4]

Shore then embarked on a series of cross-country road trips, making "on the road" photographs of American and Canadian landscapes. In 1972, he made the journey from Manhattan to Amarillo, Texas, that provoked his interest in color photography. Viewing the streets and towns he passed through, he conceived the idea to photograph them in color, first using 35 mm hand-held camera and then a 4×5" view camera before finally settling on the 8×10 format.[6][10] The change to a large format camera is believed to have happened because of a conversation with John Szarkowski.[10] In 1974 a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant funded further work,[11] followed in 1975 by a Guggenheim Fellowship.[2]

Along with others, especially William Eggleston, Shore is recognized as one of the leading photographers who established color photography as an art form.[12][13][14] His book Uncommon Places (1982) was influential for new color photographers of his own and later generations.[15][1] Photographers who have acknowledged his influence on their work include Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Parr, Joel Sternfeld and Thomas Struth.[citation needed]

Shore photographed fashion stories for Another Magazine, Elle, Daily Telegraph and many others.[16] Commissioned by Italian brand Bottega Veneta, he photographed socialite Lydia Hearst, filmmaker Liz Goldwyn and model Will Chalker for the brand's spring/summer 2006 advertisements.[citation needed]

Shore has been the director of the photography department at Bard College since 1982.[17][1]

His American Surfaces series, a travel diary made between 1972 and 1973 with photographs of "friends he met, meals he ate, toilets he sat on", was not published until 1999, then again in 2005.[4][6]

In recent years, Shore has been working in Israel, the West Bank, and Ukraine.[18]


Publications by Shore[edit]

  • Uncommon Places. New York: Aperture, 1982. ISBN 0-89381-101-7.
  • The Gardens at Giverny. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1983. ASIN B002GRGN1A.
  • The Velvet Years, Andy Warhol's Factory, 1965–1967. New York: Thunder's Mouth, 1995. ISBN 978-1857933239.
  • Stephen Shore: Photographs 1973–1993. Munich: Schirmer Art Books, 1998. ISBN 978-3888146473.
  • American Surfaces.
  • Uncommon Places: 50 Unpublished Photographs. Düsseldorf: Verlag der Galerie Conrads, 2002. ISBN 978-3928224062.
  • Uncommon Places: The Complete Works. London: Thames & Hudson, 2004; New York: Aperture, 2004. ISBN 978-1597113038.
  • Essex County. Portland, OR: Nazraeli Press, 2006. ISBN 978-1590050415.
  • Witness No.1. Portland, OR: Nazraeli Press, 2007. ASIN B000OFFDEY.
  • A Road Trip Journal. London: Phaidon, 2008 ISBN 978-0714848013.
  • One Picture Book #43 Merced River. Portland, OR: Nazraeli Press, 2009. ISBN 978-1590052037.
  • Stephen Shore. Dublin: Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2010. ISBN 978-1905397297.
  • Mose: A Preliminary Report. Berlin: Walther König, 2011. ISBN 978-3865603944.
  • The Hudson Valley. Annandale-on-Hudson, NY: Blind Spot Series, 2012. ISBN 978-0615491769.
  • One Picture Book #73 Pet Pictures. Portland, OR: Nazraeli Press, 2012. ISBN 978-1590053560.
  • From Galilee to the Negev. London: Phaidon, 2014. ISBN 978-0714867069.
  • Winslow Arizona. Tokyo: Amana, 2014. ISBN 978-4907519070. Text in English and Japanese.
  • Stephen Shore: Survey. Madrid: Fundación Mapfre, 2014. ISBN 978-1597113090. With an interview between David Campany and Shore, and texts by Marta Dahó, Sandra S. Phillips, and Horacio Fernández.
  • Survivors in Ukraine. London: Phaidon, 2015. ISBN 978-0714869506.
  • Luzzara. London: Stanley Barker, 2016. ISBN 9780956992284.
  • Transparencies: Small Camera Works 1971–1979. London: Mack, 2020. ISBN 978-1-912339-70-9.[19][20] With an afterword by Britt Salvesen, "Ordinary Speech: The Vernacular in Stephen Shore's Early 35mm Photography".

Photographic theory by Shore[edit]

Publications with contributions by Shore[edit]

Solo exhibitions[edit]


Shore receiving the German Society for Photography's Culture Award, with Prof. Dr. Nickel (Chairman of DGPh)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Yarm, Mark (2 November 2017). "A Stephen Shore Retrospective Comes to the MoMA". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via
  2. ^ a b c "Stephen Shore". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  3. ^ Shirey, David L. (February 24, 1971). "Prints and Photographs on view at Metropolitan" (PDF). The New York Times.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i O'Hagan, Sean (13 November 2005). "Sean O'Hagan meets photographer Stephen Shore". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  5. ^ a b Hiss, Anthony (27 February 1971). "Stephen Shore". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via
  6. ^ a b c d e f Woodward, Richard B. (30 December 2017). "Photography's Shifting Shore". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-04-23 – via
  7. ^ a b "Honorary Fellowships (HonFRPS) ". Royal Photographic Society. Accessed 22 February 2018
  8. ^ Crair, Ben (October 22, 2013). "'Then I Found Myself Seeing Pictures All the Time': Stephen Shore's photos will make you put away your camera phone". The New Republic. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  9. ^ Interview with Stephen Shore Archived 2009-07-01 at the Wayback Machine. Wallpaper*, July 26, 2007.
  10. ^ a b Shore, Stephen (2004). Uncommon Places (First ed.). Aperture Foundation. ISBN 1-931788-34-0.
  11. ^ a b c "Photographs by Stephen Shore" (PDF). Museum of Modern Art. 8 October 1976. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  12. ^ Frankel, David (December 2014). "Stephen Shore, 303 Gallery." Artforum. Vol. 53, no. 4. p. 304. Retrieved via ProQuest database, 17 February 2018. "With William Eggleston, Joel Sternfeld, and others, Stephen Shore was one of those who established color photography as an important aesthetic medium in the 1970s."
  13. ^ O'Neill, Claire (February 24, 2010). "The Crusade For Color Photography". The Picture Show (photo stories from NPR). NPR. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  14. ^ Anglès, Daphné (February 8, 2013). "Full Spectrum of a Photographer Who Made Color Cool". IHT Rendez-vous (blog). New York Times. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  15. ^ a b "DGPh verleiht den Kulturpreis 2010 an Stephen Shore" (press release) (in German). Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie. Retrieved 1 April 2014.
  16. ^ Reuel Golden (December 1, 2010), A Shore thing Archived 2013-02-10 at the Wayback Machine W.
  17. ^ a b Budick, Ariella. "Stephen Shore: banality, sprawl and decay". Financial Times. Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  18. ^ Frankel, David (December 2014). "Steven Shore, 303 Gallery". Artforum.
  19. ^ O’Hagan, Sean (29 February 2020). "Stephen Shore: 'People would chase me off their lawns with my Leica'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  20. ^ "Finding beauty in dusty, neon-lit suburbs of 1970s America". Archived from the original on 2022-05-25. Retrieved 2020-09-02.
  21. ^ "Stephen Shore, Uncommon Places". Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow.
  22. ^ "Stephen Shore: Retrospective". C/O Berlin. Exhibition February 6 – May 22, 2016. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  23. ^ "Stephen Shore". Retrieved 2018-04-23.
  24. ^ "The Cultural Award of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh)". Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie. Retrieved 1 April 2014.

External links[edit]