Project Description


Powered Narratives: Photographer John Stanmeyer

August 28 through November 8, 2015

Powered Narratives, a solo show of photographs by award-winning photographer John Stanmeyer, will be on view at the Berkshire Museum Friday, August 28, through Sunday, November 8, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Friday, August 28, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 adult, $5 child, free for Museum members.

John Stanmeyer’s images have a profound aesthetic beauty, and yet his work is as much about storytelling as it is about the power and art of photography. Stanmeyer’s photographs take us to the far reaches of the world and passionately communicate complex issues we face on this precious planet. His voice as a photojournalist is forceful, dynamic, and compelling. He creates visual narratives that fuel stories about topics that matter, and just might push the viewer to see the world in profound new ways.

“Contrary to the photographic cliché of ‘capturing a moment in time,’ Stanmeyer’s photographs are energetic stories that propel you into the visual narrative,” says the exhibition’s curator Maria Mingalone, Berkshire Museum’s director of curatorial affairs and collections. “They are compositions, fueled by movement and dynamic color, that communicate complex issues that we as the human race face, the toll on human life as a result of conflict, world population, man’s influence on the environment, and natural or manmade disasters.”

Stanmeyer’s work with National Geographic and Time magazine has taken him around the globe many times over. Powered Narratives includes 15 large-scale images from diverse locations: Syrian refugees in makeshift camps in Turkey; Mount Bromo erupting in East Java, Indonesia; and sex workers in China. More important than the locales are the compelling stories of his subjects, from the thousands of children who walk every night to find a safe place to sleep in Uganda to sulfur miners toiling in East Java to survivors of the 2004 tsunami in Aceh, Indonesia, praying in the remains of their village.

John Stanmeyer is an American-born photographer who has received numerous awards including being named Magazine Photographer of the Year, the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, many World Press and Picture of the Year awards, and an Emmy nomination for the VII documentary film series, Starved for Attention. In 2014 Stanmeyer received the prestigious World Press Photo of the Year Award for his photograph, Signal.

Working in nearly 100 countries, John was with Time for more than ten years producing 18 covers for the magazine. Since 2004 Stanmeyer has worked almost exclusively for National Geographic magazine, producing more than 14 stories.

Stanmeyer’s photography is held in many private collections and has been exhibited worldwide including in the Louvre in Paris, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, International Center of Photography in NYC, the UN, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and other venues.

In 2013, John opened Stanmeyer Gallery & Shaker Dam Coffeehouse in West Stockbridge, Mass, combining photography and education around his passion for brilliant coffee.