Issue #139  1/3/2008
Photographer and Teacher Jack Welpott Passes Away At 84

Jack Welpott, one of the great photographers and teachers of the post-World War II generation, passed away last November 24. He was 84. Barry Singer, who represented Jack, passed on the news and provides the brief biography below.

Jack Welpott was born in Kansas City, KS on April 27, 1923 and was educated at primary and secondary schools in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana.

In 1949, he earned his BS in Economics from the University of Indiana, Bloomington. He studied photography under Henry Holmes Smith, painting under Leon Golub and Harry Engle, and design with George Rickey and received his MS in Visual Communication in 1955. Jack completed his MFA in 1959 and began his long teaching career at San Francisco State College as he pursued his career as a professional photographer.

In 1973 Welpott was the recipient of the Medal of Arles, France; later a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1973; and, in 1983, a Polaroid grant in association with the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego.

Wellpott's photographs are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum, New York; International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, Rochester, NY; Art Institute of Chicago; Center of Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson; University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Norton Simon Art Museum, Pasadena, CA; Oakland Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.

Jack once said, "Part of the fascination that photography holds is its ability to unlock secrets kept even from ourselves. Like dreams, the photograph can uncork a heady bouquet of recognition which can escape into the cognitive world. Sometimes the aroma is sharp, sometimes dry. This "shock of recognition" can be, at times, unsettling. It can also be sublime."