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“I want people to think about what they are looking at. Hopefully they will bring something to the picture. I want people to stop and look at the world and think about it a bit through the pictures.”
Stephen Perloff is a photographer, founder and editor of The Photo Review and editor of The Photograph Collector. He has taught photography and the history of photography at numerous Philadelphia-area colleges and universities and has been the recipient of two grants from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts for arts criticism. He received the Sol Mednick Award in 2000 from the Mid-Atlantic region of the Society for Photographic Education.
Perloff’s interest in photography began at an early age. When he was eight-years-old, Perloff received a Davey Crockett brownie camera, which ignited an interest in the medium. Much later, while at the University of Pennsylvania where he studied Modern European History, Perloff took a photography class from fellow Bucks County artist Michael A. Smith in 1968 and then an advanced class in 1972. However, in spite of his courses, it was not until he prepared for his dissertation in Modern European History that Perloff realized he truly was a photographer. He then left his graduate program to follow his muse.
The artist’s photographs from the 1970s and 1980s consist mainly of urban scenes and portraits. Perloff is especially interested in Philadelphia and many of his works feature the city and its inhabitants. For the majority of his career, all of Perloff’s exhibited works were in black and white film, but he also shot many photographs in color as well. However, his color Kodachrome prints were not shown until 2012 when they were scanned for exhibition at The Light Room Gallery in Philadelphia. According to Perloff, he only wanted to exhibit the images after they had been scanned because he, “never really learned to print in color.”
In addition to his own photography, Perloff has curated numerous exhibitions, such as Philadelphia Past and Present at the Philadelphia Art Alliance for the city's tricentennial in 1982. He was also curator of the acclaimed series Photography: Contemporary Prospect at Historic Yellow Springs (1994–2001) and Camera Work: A Centennial Celebration, which opened at the Michener Art Museum in September 2003 and traveled through January 2005. Additionally, he curated an exhibition of environmentally-concerned photographs entitled Paradise Paved for the Painted Bride Art Center in 2005 and Radical Vision: The Revolution in American Photography: 1945-1975 at the Michener Art Museum in 2006.
The Michener Art Museum exhibited Perloff’s work in Parting Gifts: Artists Honor Bruce Katsiff, Director/CEO, 1989-2012 (2012).
Studied Modern European History, University of Pennsylvania
Teachers and Influences
While at the University of Pennsylvania, he took a photography class from Michael A. Smith in 1968 and later an advanced class in 1972. This influenced his decision to pursue photography as a profession.
Connection to Bucks County
Perloff lives and works in Langhorne, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
Parting Gifts: Artists Honor Bruce Katsiff, Director/CEO, 1989-2012, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2012
The Silver Garden, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005
Photo Shoot: Contemporary Photographers & Their Personal Visions, Legacy Gallery, Newtown, Pennsylvania, 1997
Radical Vision: The Revolution in American Photography, 1945-1980, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2006
Women in Photography International’s 25th Anniversary Competition, 2006
Paradise Paved, Painted Bride Art Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2005
Camera Work: A Centennial Celebration, Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania, 2003-2005
Photography: Contemporary Prospect, Historic Yellow Springs, Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, 1994-2001
Philadelphia Past and Present, Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1982
Founder and Editor, The Photo Review
Editor, The Photograph Collector
First Annual Vanguard Award, Philadelphia Center for the Photographic Image, 2007
Sol Mednick Award, Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society for Photographic Education, 2000
Two Grants, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts
Perloff has taught photography and the history of photography at numerous Philadelphia-area colleges and universities.
The Benjamin Franklin Bridge
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