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Jasper Wood Collection: Smiling girl looking out of window of shingled house

@ Cleveland Public Library


The photograph depicts a smiling girl looking downward from her window. Cleveland civil rights activist Jasper Wood was a self-taught writer and photographer. His principal subjects were residents of Cleveland’s Scovill Avenue area. He purchased his first camera in 1946 and first exhibited his work in 1947 at the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual May Show. According to the Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, he won three first place May Show awards (1949, 1951, 1953) and two honorable mentions (1947, 1952) for his photographs. His last May Show entry was in 1958. Through his photographs Wood attempted to capture what he called the “felt moment seen,” or the emotional essence of what he, the photographer, was seeing. Jasper Wood took photographs to feel alive and connected to the world. He did not sell his photographs or create a career from them. To him, the creative act was most significant. In 1951, Wood won first place in the 31st annual competition of American Photography magazine (September 1951, page 529). In 1953, Wood made a 15 minute poetic documentary titled Streetcar, which depicted life in a big American city (Cleveland) centered on the experience of riding its streetcars. The film can be viewed at the Library’s YouTube account. One of Wood’s images was included in Edward Steichen's 1955 exhibit The Family of Man (page 191 in the published catalog). Wood, who also took photographs in Mexico and Ohio Amish Country, took few photographs after 1960. Note: Photograph titles were supplied...
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Cleveland Public Library

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Ohio Digital Network