Joseph Sterling

Joseph Sterling (1936-2010) began photographing by age eleven, in his native Texas.  Inspired by a teacher and a single photograph by Harry Callahan that he saw in a magazine, Sterling left his home state and Texas State College in 1956, transferring to Chicago and the Institute of Design.  There he studied under Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick  Sommer, receiving his B.S. in 1959 and then his M.S. in 1962. Sterling’s Master’s  thesis was called “the Age of Adolescence,” a heartfelt but technically rigorous photographic essay describing the hope, energy and uncertainty that defined the world of American working class teenagers – created within the aesthetic framework of pattern and design taught at the ID (and the Bauhaus before it). 


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