Mary Ellen Mark, "Heather and Kelsey Dietrick, 7 years old, Kelsey older by 66 minutes", 2002, from the series "Twins", archival pigment print from 20x24" Polaroid, 37x40”. Courtesy of Aperture Foundation, NYC

Mary Ellen Mark, “Heather and Kelsey Dietrick, 7 years old, Kelsey older by 66 minutes”, 2002, from the series “Twins”, archival pigment print from 20×24″ Polaroid, 37×40”. Courtesy of Aperture Foundation, NYC

Mary Ellen Mark

I think you reveal yourself by what you choose to photograph, but I prefer photographs that tell more about the subject. There’s nothing much interesting to tell about me; what’s interesting is the person I’m photographing, and that’s what I try to show.

– Mary Ellen Mark

In her series “Twins”, Mark turned both her eye and her heart to the extraordinary bond that exists between these very special siblings. For two consecutive years, she set up a studio at the site of America’s premier twins festival, Twins Day, in Twinsburg, Ohio, and invited participants to be photographed. She has said, “I’ve always been fascinated by twins. In my forty years of photographing, whenever there was an opportunity, I would take a picture of twins. I found the notion that two people could appear to look exactly alike very compelling.” Mark proceeded to create a compelling body of work, of which this photograph is a part.

Mary Ellen Mark (NYC) is one of the most respected documentary photographers in the world. She received her Master of Art in photojournalism from the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1964. From there she went on to receive Honorary Doctorate degrees in the arts from the University of Arts in 1992, University of Pennsylvania in 1994, Center for Creative Studies in 2001, Columbia College in 2004, and Kenyon College in 2004. Mary Ellen’s numerous photo-essays and portraits have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Stern, Details, and Rolling Stone. She has been the recipient of the Cornell Capa Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, ICP’s Infinity Award for Journalism, and three NEA fellowships. She has also published fifteen books including Falkland Road (Knopf, 1991), American Odyssey (Aperture 1999), and Behind the Scenes (Phaidon 2009). Mary Ellen has exhibited work in solo and group shows internationally and her work is featured in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), George Eastman House (Rochester, NY), the Center for Photography (Woodstock, NY) and the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC) among many others. CPW featured Mary Ellen Mark’s work in the Third World: Conflict & Caring (curated by Martin Benjamin in1986) and Photographers Who Make Films (curated by Katherine Schlesinger in 1987). Her imagery graced the cover of PQ #32 and was included in the exhibit PQ:100. She has led workshops at CPW since 1990.