PR: Jeff Jacobson

Jeff Jacobson

The Last Roll

On view: April 13 – June 16, 2013
Opening reception: Saturday, April 13 from 5-7pm.

The Center for Photography at Woodstock (CPW) is honored to announce its upcoming solo exhibition and book launch of The Last Roll featuring work by renowned photographer Jeff Jacobson (Mt. Tremper, NY). The debut exhibition of will open at CPW on April 13 and remain on view through June 16, 2013.
A special presentation and book signing by Jacobson will take place on Saturday, May 4, 3-5pm.

This compelling and self-reflective body of work emerged in the wake of Jacobson’s diagnosis with Lymphoma a few days before Christmas of 2004 and the subsequent announcement of the elimination of his beloved film Kodachrome– the tool which shaped his artistic vision over the course of his career in photography – by its manufacturer, Kodak.

While recovering from chemotherapy treatment in the Catskills being too ill to travel elsewhere, Jacobson turned to photographing around the home. As he regained his strength, Jacobson resumed photographing across America and continued to work. In 2009, when Kodachrome was discontinued, Jacobson stockpiled the film, filling his refrigerator and wine cooler in order to keep shooting. Jacobson observed in his book, “I loved Kodachrome. It helped shape my photographic vision…I have outlived my film.” A few days before Christmas in 2010, six years after his initial diagnosis, he exposed his last roll.

With images that can be difficult to interpret but which can also pleasurably confound the viewer, Jacobson’s work is intensely personal. He has described his approach to photography as having “one foot in the real world, and one foot somewhere else” and his photographs reflect this bifurcated existence, rendering reality as otherworldly, surreal, haunting, strange, jarring, weird, and beautiful. The Last Roll reflects on beauty and mortality, representing Jacobson’s attempt to answer his question “what do you do when you are presented with your own physical and creative mortality?” His response is a nuanced, first-person depiction of a cancer patient’s changing perspectives on life, death, art, and the world around him.


Jeff Jacobson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1946. His imagery has pushed at the edges of the photographic document, regarding the poetic, experimental, and subjective elements of the world around him. With photographs uniquely defined by his use of strobes, long exposure, and the color inherent in Kodachrome, Jacobson relays interpretations of people and landscapes in loose narratives which emphasize emotional content over informational context and atmospheric mood over cohesive subject.

An accomplished photojournalist who prior to becoming a photographer was a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, Jacobson has been a member of such illustrious groups as the Magnum Photo Agency, Archive Pictures, and Redux Pictures. He has published two previous books, My Fellow Americans, (University of New Mexico Press, 1991) and Melting Point (Nazraeli Press, 2006). His work is in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and The Houston Museum of Fine Art, among others. His work has been exhibited at the International Center of Photography and the High Museum of Art, as well as at venues abroad. He has taught workshops internationally as is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The New York Foundation for the Arts.

To learn more about Jacobson’s work, please visit



CPW invites groups and individuals to schedule tours and gallery talks of the exhibition and facility. CPW is a non-profit, artist-centered organization dedicated to supporting artists working in photography and related media.

This exhibition and its related programs have been made possible in part with funds from the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency, with support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.