Steve Mumford

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Steve Mumford (born 1960) is a contemporary American painter. His practice has recently included the depiction of scenes from the ongoing American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Typically he works in large, realist oil paintings, as well as watercolor on paper.


Mumford received his M.F.A in 1994 at The School of Visual Arts, New York.[1] During graduate school, he met Inka Essenhigh, whom he would later marry, as well as artists Michelle Lopez and Michael Lazarus.


Mumford entered Iraq on April 9, 2003, the day the statue of Saddam Hussein was toppled in Baghdad, and he has periodically returned to the region to document the daily lives of both Iraqi citizens and American soldiers. These works were published, along with journalistic text by Mumford, in a book released through Drawn and Quarterly.[2][3]

In April 2007, a major exhibition of his war works was held at the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago.[4][5] Mumford is represented by Postmasters Gallery in New York City.[1]

In 2013, Mumford made paintings of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.[6]

His work is currently being exhibited “Steve Mumford’s War Journals” at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee through June 8, 2014.[5]

Mumford's painting "Dying Soldier" is in the exhibition "Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991-2011" through March 1, 2020 at PS 1, Long Island City NY

Personal life and family[edit]

Mumford lives in New York City and is married to artist Inka Essenhigh. He is the son of renowned mathematician David Mumford.


  • Mumford, Steve. Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq. Montreal: Drawn & Quarterly Books, 2005. ISBN 1896597904


  1. ^ a b "Steve Mumford - Glasschord".
  2. ^ Kino, Carol. "Sketches From the Front: An Artist's Dispatches, Rendered in Ink and Paint", New York Times, December 13, 2004.
  3. ^ Gregg, G. "Nothing Like the Real Thing", ARTnews, December 2010, pp. 68-71.
  4. ^ "Steve Mumford: Baghdad Journal: An Artist in Occupied Iraq", Pritzker Military Museum & Library, April 27, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Justin Jones, "Steve Mumford: The Artist Who Went to War", The Daily Beast, February 28, 2014.
  6. ^ McKelvey, Tara (Nov 11, 2013). "Preserved as evidence, Camp X-Ray holds dark memories". BBC News.

External links[edit]