James Rhem

I received my M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Eighteenth Century English Literature. Despite all that academic training under my belt, I applied it to my first love -- photography. As an independent scholar I have produced two books on Ralph Eugene Meatyard (including the award-winning Ralph Eugene Meatyard: The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater and Other Figurative Photographs, DAP 2002), the Phaidon 55 on Aaron Siskind, and numerous catalog essays. I am also the creator and Executive Editor of The National Teaching & Learning FORUM, a periodical publication for faculty on college teaching. 

Research into the work of Anne W. Brigman


Desolation Lake pano 1. Photo by James Rhem.

Grant support from the Palmquist fund allowed me to extend my field research on Anne Brigman as pertains to the sites visited in the Sierra Nevada Mountains where she made some of her most famous photographs. I was able to see and feel for myself the power and beauty of bristlecone pines. Also, the grant allowed me to do archival research in California.

Desolation Lake. circa 1908. Photographer unknown.

This research contributed to two papers given at regional meetings of the Society of Photographic Educators: “Naked Freedom: Photography Poetry and Anne Brigman (1869-1950) [Arlington, Texas] and “Anne Brigman: Her Final Artistic Legacy” [Omaha, Nebraska]. 

As I near completion of a biographical/critical study of Brigman with emphasis on her late artistic style particularly her books “Songs of a Pagan” and “Wild Flute Songs,” I remain grateful for the support from the Palmquist Fund.

Desolation Lake pano 3. Photo by James Rhem.