Jerome Liebling R.I.P

In Memoriam JeromeLiebling Jerome Liebling


Jerome Liebling, acclaimed founder of Hampshire College’s photography and video school, dies at 87

A Brooklyn native whose father was a waiter, Liebling was a child of the Depression who served in the 82nd Airborne Division in World War II before going on to study at Brooklyn College on the GI Bill.

His students included Ken Burns
Butterfly Boy

Interview (with photos)

What were some of the things that you went out looking for when you first started?

Well—mostly just the street, and what it gave back. There were a few wonderful documentary photographers, especially Helen Levitt, who was present and whose work I saw. All of the good people were trying to bring back pieces of the world as honestly as possible.

I studied with Jerome Liebling 20 years ago (it was the semester when I realized that I should stop trying to be a photographer). He was a remarkable teacher – warm and encouraging, but he didn’t get in the way of his students, and he told the truth without telling us what to do. The same with his work. Some of the photographs he once exhibited in the college gallery have burned themselves into my brain. They were arresting and complex – visually complete, beautiful, but full of questions he didn’t try to answer for the viewer.
Artists and teachers like Liebling are rare these days. He will be missed. via