SHERON RUPP (American, b. 1943)
Sheron Rupp was born in 1943 in Mansfield, Ohio where she spent her formative years. After graduating in 1965 with degrees in sociology and psychology from Denison University, she moved to the east coast and developed a career in university press publishing.
She considers herself a self-taught photographer, having taken a course in beginning photography at a local arts center in Cambridge, Massachusetts when she acquired her first camera around 1970.
For a short time, Rupp was enrolled in evening classes in drawing and design at the Boston Museum School. In 1980, she was accepted into a new MFA program in photography between the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire College. It was at this time that she began photographing with color film. At almost forty, Rupp received her MFA degree in photography in 1982.
Today, Sheron Rupp is best known for her color photographs of people, especially children, living in rural, small towns in America. Her photographs often include the rough and tumble of backyards and the quotidian moments in family interactions.
Rupp’s work is in numerous private and institutional collections. Her various projects across small rural towns has been supported by grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (1990), the National Endowment for the Arts (1994 & 1986) and the Massachusetts Artists Foundation (1987 & 1984).
Taken from Memory, Rupp’s first book of her early color work, was published in the spring of 2019 by Kehrer Verlag.
“We are a long way from the city, from the bustle of getting and spending. More important: there are no strangers. A visitor might show up, but as soon as she arrives she is present and accounted for. We are in a world free of the anonymous encounters of city life, with no past or future.
Nothing much is happening. Often we are in the backyard, where people are unguarded but not really private. They are at home and at home with each other, and no one pretends to be someone else. Many return our gaze. They are young and old and in-between. If there is no kid in one picture, there will be in the next. The people often touch or hold one another. There are plenty of pets.
The sun is shining. Red things are red and blue things are blue. The grass looks like grass, the dirt looks like dirt, and there is lots of both. The people’s bodies have heft and volume, and their flesh is human.
Everything is complete in itself. Our view is never blocked. There is no hint of action outside the frame. We see what there is to see.”
- Taken By Memory, afterword by Peter Galassi
Museum of Modern Art | New York, NY
J. Paul Getty Museum | Los Angeles, CA
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University | Cambridge, MA
The National Gallery of Art | Washington, DC
Columbus Museum of Art | Columbus, OH
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art | Kansas City, MO
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University | Waltham, MA
Museum of Fine Arts | Boston, MA
Sir Elton John Photography Collection | England
Smithsonian Institution | Washington, DC
University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts | Amherst, MA Smith
Smith College Museum of Art | Northampton, MA
DeCordova Museum | Lincoln, MA
Mead Art Museum, Amherst College | Amherst, MA
Danforth Museum of Art | Framingham, MA
Springfield Technical Community College Foundation, Inc. | Springfield, MA