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"When it became apparent that I could read and write several words per minute in English but wrote with German sentence structure, some very Brechtian Measures were Taken. For a year, every Saturday morning was spent with my Aunt writing stories and then diagramming the stories into English sentence structure. There were two results. I thought the mechanics of and logic of English was mathematically elegant and its structure formed the basis for everything I photographed or designed to this day."
-H. Scott Heist
Born in Allentown, PA, Scott Heist is artistic as both a photographer and a writer. Having studied in Greenwich Village at New York University, as well as the New School of Social Research, Heist has worked as a photojournalist, a publication photographer, an essayist, and a creative director for The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Lee Iacocca Institute at Lehigh University, and IBM Corporation. Heist has done work in the arts and sciences for major universities, foundations, and philanthropic organizations. Additionally, Heist has published pieces for the Chronicle of Higher Education and The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Heist spent three terms as National Corporate Secretary of the American Society of Photographers, as well as holding several other notable positions with other organizations. Heist has spent a great deal of time abroad, having frequently traveled to Europe in the early 1990s to complete major essays on Jacques Lecoqs School of Theatre.
The Michener Art Museum currently houses a number of Heist's photographs, including a photograph of Alexander Calder. This photograph was taken for a European magazine at the time of a Calder retrospective. Calder was hesitant to be photographed and his reluctance comes through in the portrait.
Today, he continues to build his boutique firm, Splinter Cottage, where he produces over 500 images a year for blue-chip organizations and advertising firms. He also creates visual communications for anything that comes his way, including books, exhibitions, sets, and magazines.
Scott Heist, Self-portrait.
American Society of Magazine Photographers, voting member, National Secretary, Chairman of Editorial Committee, Co-Chair of the Copyright Committee, liaison to the Newspapers Guild, the Writers Guild, and the Graphic Artist Guild.
The Lee A. Iacocca Institute, Creative Director
The New York Times
Major Client Associations
The Sunday Magazine of The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Chronicle of Higher Education
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
Paris Herald Tribune
Sierra Wilderness Conference, Washington D.C., 1972
Pennsylvania Labor History Society, Pittsburgh, PA, 1974
American Society of Magazine Photographers Show, 1976
The Prison Drama Projects, Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, PA, 1977
CLEF Galleries NY, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1978
Technology Releases, IBM Gallery Armonk, 1987
10 Big Prints (30x40 & 40x60), Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1986
Newspaper Brat: Work from the New York Times, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1988
Father & Son: A Collaboration, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1993
10,000 Eyes, International Center of Photography, New York, New York, 1994
Being Lehigh, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, 1996
La Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France, 1999
Jaques Lecoq, Maison Jean Vilar Avignon, France, 2000
12 Portraits, Ecole Jacques Lecoq International, Paris, France, 2001
Life and Times of Lehigh University, Monsoon Gallery, Bethlehem, PA, 2004
12 Views of New Hope, Splinter Cottage-USA, Durham, PA, 2007
Café Stories: Valentine’s Day and Other Massacres, Splinter Cottage-USA, Durham, PA
A Yellow Light in Italy, Splinter Cottage-USA, Durham, PA
Barbara’s Petite Political Campaign, Splinter Cottage-USA, Durham, PA
The Pleasures and Terrors of a Truthful Reportage: 12 Portraits of Jacques Lecoq, Touchstone Theatre Galleries, Bethlehem, PA, 2009
La Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France
Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, PA
AAPP Photographer of the Year, 1989
One Show Gold, opening photograph, 1996
Various Art Director Club (NY & Philadelphia) Awards throughout the 1990s
Being Lehigh Coffee Table Book, 1996
Horace Mann School Coffee Table Book, 2003
Three elections to National Secretary of the American Society of Magazine Photographers
Inclusion in Americas Favorite Images, 10,000 Eyes Book, published by Kodak and the Bucks County Collection Artists at the Michener Art Museum
New York University, Greenwich Village, 1967-1970
New School for Social Research, Greenwich Village, 1967-1970
Connection to Bucks County
Heist’s ancestors, pacifist Mennonite emigrants, settled on the upper edges of Bucks County during the time of William Penn. Heist has lived at Splinter Cottage in Durham, PA for over 25 years. Heist has a strong appreciation for Bucks County’s artistic heritage and considers it integral to the Bucks County identity. As he observes, “A Bucks County separate from art isn’t possible. For art is not commodity but a way of life.”
Artistic Community and Colleagues
Heist has been acquainted with craftsperson and furniture-maker Phil Powell, now deceased, since Heist was a teenager and photographed Powell on several occasions.