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Jocelyn Lee

Jocelyn Lee (b. 1962, Naples, Italy) received a BA from Yale University in 1986 and an MFA in Photography from the City University of New York at Hunter College in 1992.

Beginning in 1990, Lee spent six years living with teenage mothers and fathers in Texas and Maine for a photographic essay published in the collaborative study The Youngest Parents: Teenage Pregnancy as it Shapes Lives (1997). Lee’s powerful record of this widespread social phenomenon places her in the documentary tradition of Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus. Her fascination with the physical and psychological transitions of human development has produced incisive portraits that capture the fraught passage from adolescence to adulthood, as well as the changes that aging registers on the face and body. In addition to portraiture, Lee has explored landscape and interior photography throughout her career. Consistent in her work is a focus on the visual and tactile qualities of the material world, emphasizing the chromatic and textural richness of flesh, fabrics, and foliage.

Lee has exhibited her work nationally since 1992. Her solo shows include those organized by the Maine College of Art, Portland (1995); the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Durham, N.C. (1997); the University of Maine at Farmington (2003); and the University of Maine Museum of Art, Bangor (2006). Her work has also been featured in group exhibitions mounted at the Houston Center for Photography (1994); Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine (2000); the Portland Art Museum, Maine (2001); Hampshire College, Amherst, Mass. (2003); the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine (2003); Stone Hill College, Easton, Mass. (2005); the University of Maine Museum of Art (2006); the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (2007); the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (2008); and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC (2009).

Lee is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (2001). She currently teaches at Princeton University and has held positions at the Maine College of Art, Bowdoin College, New York University, and Molloy College, Rockville Center, NY.
Lee’s photography can be found in the permanent collections of the Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, Maine; the Colby College Museum of Fine Art; the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; the Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, Maine; the Folkwang Museum; the List Center for the Visual Arts, MIT, Cambridge, Mass; the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Yale University Art Gallery.

Examples of Lee’s work have been published in The Youngest Parents: Teenage Pregnancy as it Shapes Lives (1997) and The Spirit of Family (2002).

Lee lives and works in Princeton, N.J., and Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Books by Jocelyn Lee
Nowhere but Here
Other artists