"Thank God for photography" said award winning photographer Judith Joy Ross. The Judith Joy Ross exhibit debut at The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the first time ever in America. This exhibition, Judith Joy Ross, premiered in 2022 at Fundación MAPFRE , Paris , and the Hague in the Netherlands. To have her art displayed in Philadelphia where she attended Moore College of Art, a few miles from her hometown of Hazleton, PA is a dream come true.
It’s a celebration , and it's surreal to the artist. Judith expressed her love for photography and it's changes of color, paper, and permission throughout the years. She's carried herself as a risk taker and not afraid of a challenge or to push the envelope. Literally, before text messages an emails she'd send letters via type writer or written by hand for permission to take photos. She's a undeniable force of passion, persistence, and proactivity. Boldness and dedication has transformed her world.
Judith expressed that her grey photos required more gold . The photos that required less gold created more brown and displayed happiness. Her work featured parks/ public schools in Hazleton, members of Congress in Washington D.C, children, and African immigrants in Paris.
I asked Judith "Do you have a favorite photo in the exhibit?" She responded No, but right now my favorite is a picture I took of my mom as a kid laying in a bed in Philadelphia at the YWCA and that's one of my earliest photographs. So right now that means a lot to me because of course my mother isn't here. So that's my favorite right now. It changes everyday. I took it when I was a kid at Moore.That's when I became of photographer. I didn't know that I was a photographer until 20 years later .That took a long time to figure out.
As we walked through each room and viewed her portraits together, and listened to her speak so candidly about her journey. She'd tell a joke and then invite us into a serious moment about the 9/11 and Vietnam memorial. The importance of capturing time was freeze framing moments forever. She didn't know as a child that taking pictures of squirrels and her love to draw and paint mannequins at her father's store would one day turn into her portraits being admired by thousands and exhibited in around the globe . Her portraits were captured with a large format 8x10 camera.. She also admires French photographer Eugene Atget who also used a large camera.
The exhibit is a walk through journey of her life. She is a great portraitist. You travel with her through images from Eurana Park to Paris and everywhere in between. Her camera in hand is her happy place. She's able to connect with the world through her lens. She is the Judith Joy Ross.
To conclude Sasha hosted . Nadia and Carlos of MAPFRE were in attendance. Joshua Chuang alongside Peter Barberie Brodsky curated the day. It was an honor to partake in such an incredible moment. Special thanks to Laura Coogan and Norman Keyes and the entire Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Judith Joy Ross has been sponsored by Robert Montgomery Scott Endowment for Exhibitions, Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, and the Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky Installation and Exhibition Fund, and by additional contributions from Andrea Baldeck, M.D., Lois G. and Julian A. Brodsky, Robert and Julie Jensen Bryan, Sarena Snider, and other generous donors.
The Philadelphia’s art museum. A world-renowned collection and a famous landmark building in the city, state, and world. A home to art from all walks of life. It's described as a place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.
The exhibition is accompanied by a major illustrated catalogue, co-published in English by MAPFRE and Aperture. It includes essays by curator Joshua Chuang and art historian Svetlana Alpers, and an illustrated chronology by Joshua Chuang and Adam Ryan. A personal reflection by Ross’s friend Addison Bross is also included. The volume is available in the Museum Store or via the website at Philamuseum.org ($65).