Ming Smith
Photographer

Ming Smith was born in Detroit and educated at Howard University in Washington, DC.

She is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life.

Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010.

Ming Smith’s photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.

She lives and works in New York City.

Ming Smith
Photographer

Ming Smith was born in Detroit and educated at Howard University in Washington, DC.

She is known for her informal, in-action portraits of black cultural figures, from Alvin Ailey to Nina Simone and a wide range of jazz musicians. Ming’s career emerged formally with the publication of the Black Photographer’s Annual in 1973. She was an early member of the Kamoinge Workshop, an association of several generations of black photographers. Ming has traveled extensively, showing her viewers a cosmopolitan world filled with famous landmarks and extraordinary landscapes. People continue to be her most treasured subjects. This is most apparent in her series depicting African American life.

Ming’s early style was to shoot fast and produce complicated and elaborate images in the developing and post-printing processes, so that many of her pictures carry double dates. She experimented with hand-tinting in My Father’s Tears, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico (1977/1979). Ming continues to expand the role of photography with her exploration of image and paint in the more recent, large-scale Transcendence series. Ming’s place in photography’s 175-year history was recognized by her inclusion in the Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography in 2010.

Ming Smith’s photography is held in collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York; the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture, Washington, DC and the AT&T Corporation.

She lives and works in New York City.

  • Hannah Villiger
    Apr 3 – Jul 22, 2024
    Centre Pompidou
    Paris, France
    Bringing together around 100 works and documents from the collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne and the Estate of Hannah Villiger foundation, this monographic exhibition dedicated to Swiss artist Hannah Villiger is the first of its kind in France. It pays homage to an artistic practice that oscillated between sculpture, photography and spatial architecture, beginning in the early 1970s and evolving until the mid-1990s. (more…)
  • Grey Crawford. Chroma, 1978–85, Vol 1
    Publication
    Beam Editions
    International
    In 1978 Grey Crawford created a body of colour photographic work that was so radical in its aesthetic and technique that few people to this day understand how it was made. Chroma documents late 70s Los Angeles in a period of radical urban transformation. Scenes of vernacular architecture, demolition sites and everyday places are contrasted with graphic forms that float on the surface and sit within the image. (more…)
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