James Jowers (America, 1938-2009) Coney Island, 1966, gelatin silver print, gift of the photographer, © George Eastman House

James Jowers interest in photography began while serving in the United States Army where he was trained in darkroom procedures. In 1965 he became a student at the New School and studied under Lisette Model, who later became a close friend and mentor. At this time he was living on the Lower East Side and worked as a night porter at St. Luke’s Hospital; leaving him free to explore the City during the day and photograph life as he encountered it on the streets. Model later introduced Jowers to the Nancy Palmer Photo Agency where he was represented for several years. 

The photography collection at George Eastman House holds approx. 400 James Jowers prints. The majority of the images were shot in New York City in the 1960s and early 1970s, an important and interesting time in US history. The photographs are of the New York City street photography genre. There are some remarkable images in this collection, including portraits of New Yorkers in various settings and anti-war protests in Central Park and elsewhere. There are also approximately 25 photographs of New Orleans in the 1970s. 

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