Bio

b. New York, 1951

Solo Exhibitions

2020

American Stories, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Berkeley, CA

2015

What’s Going On? Leica Gallery, San Francisco, CA

What’s Going On? Reva and David Logan Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, CA

2014

Valley of Shadows and Dreams, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, FL

Physical Labor, University of Texas at Dallas, TX

2013

Valley of Shadows and Dreams, Arte Americas, Fresno, CA

Valley of Shadows and Dreams, Visualize Photo Festival, Belgrade, Serbia

Pics Photo Festival, Vivacom Art Center, Sofia ,Bulgaria

Gallery Bu, Istanbul, Turkey

2012

Ken and Melanie Light: Valley of Shadows and Dreams, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

Valley of Shadows and Dreams, Umbrage, Brooklyn, NY

Ken Light, Ken Schles, and Ed Keating, Istanbul Photo Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

2010

The Byatt-Claeyssens Gallery, Sonoma Academy, Sonoma, CA

2008

Coal Hollow, Smith College Art Museum, Northampton, MA

Ken Light Retrospective, Viewpoint Gallery, Sacramento, CA

Mississippi Stories, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS

2006

Coal Hollow: Work by Ken Light, Oral Histories by Melanie Light, Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona, FL

Coal Hollow: Photographs by Ken Light, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

Coal Hollow, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, CA

The Great Central Valley, Rosenberg Foundation, San Francisco, CA

2005

Coal Hollow, International Center for Photography, New York, NY

International Fotoage, Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, Germany

2004

Coal Hollow, Visa pour l’Image, International Festival of Photojournalism, Perpignan, France

2002

Rüyanın Ötesindeki Amerika, Fotograf Vafi Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

Rüyanın Ötesindeki Amerika, Antik Sanat Galerisi, Diyarbakir, Turkey

Appalachia U.S.A., Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, CA

1999

Texas Death Row, Peri Center of Photography, Turku, Finland

1998

50th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights: Texas Death Row, Amnesty International, Palermo, Italy

1997

Texas Death Row, Saba Gallery, New York, NY

1995

Delta Time, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA

Texas Death Row, Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley, CA

1990

Museum of Contemporary Art, Morelia, Mexico

University of Nevada-Reno, Department of Art, Reno, NV

El Centro Cultural, Del Consejo Nacional, Tijuana, Mexico

Arte Americas, Fresno, CA

57th Street Photography Center, Sacramento, CA

1989

Workspace Gallery, University of Colorado, CO

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA

Satellite Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

East Meadow Public Library, East Meadow, NY

1988

The Photography at Oregon Gallery, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR

1987

Stevenson Gallery, Southern Oregon State University, Ashland, OR

1986

International Center for Photography, New York, NY

The Photographer’s Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

Out of the Dark/Art of the Darkroom, DeAnza College, Cupretino, CA

1985

Zoller Gallery, Penn State University

1984

Infinity Gallery, Governors State University, IL

1980

Walter Reuther Library, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Grossmont College Gallery, El Cajon, CA

1978

Images of Work, San Jose Museum of Modern Art, San Jose, CA

College of Marin, Kentfield, CA

Gallery 1199 Bread and Roses, New York, NY

Images of Work, Intersection Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1975

F-Stop Gallery, Palo Alto, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2021

Immigration U.S. Mexican Border, Kimmel Windows Gallery, New York University, New York, NY

2019

The Roaming Eye: International Street Photogrpahy from the Ramer Collection, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

Call and Response, When We say … You Say, University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach, CA

Fundraising Exhibition, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, CA

2018

James Baldwin’s America, Carpenter Center for Visual Art, Harvard University, Boston, CA

Documentary Photography Now, Mills Pond Gallery, Smithtown, NY

Religion and Resistance, Doug Adams Gallery, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA

Camera Obscura Gallery, City College, San Francisco, CA

2017

Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing, Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA

Resistors: 50 Years of Social Movement Photography, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2016

Winning the White House: From Press Prints to Selfies, International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Make Software: Change the World, Computer History Museum, San Jose, CA

Water Matters, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Labor Notes Convention Exhibit, Chicago, IL

Photography at Oregon 50th Anniversary, Maude Kerns Art Center, Eugene, OR

2015

Selections, Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Altered Images, Bronx Documentary Center, Bronx, NY

2014

The Valley/El Valle: Photo Essays from California’s Heartland, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Envisioning Human Rights, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Voice from Death Row, Volkshochschule Schleswig, Schleswig, Germany

Voice from Death Row, Schlewsig Community College, Schlewsig, Germany

2013

The Colors of California Agriculture, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Voice from Death Row, VHS Education Center, Heidelberg, Germany

Voice from Death Row, Castle, Osnabruck, Germany

Voice from Death Row, Volkshochschule Community College, Rosenheim,
Germany

Voice from Death Row, Annahof Protestan Forum, Auuhsburg, Germany

Voice from Death Row, Amnesty Group, Kommunales Kino, Freiburg, Germany

2012

Picturing Modernity, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

Sustenance, Northlight Gallery, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ

Die Geburtsstunde der Fotografie, Gernsheim Collection, Reis-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim, Germany

Voice from Death Row, Amerikahaus, Munich, Germany\

2011

World Documents: 8 Contemporary Documentary Photographers, Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum, South Hadley, MA

2010

The View from Here, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

The Art of Labor, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO

Pieces of Nine: Reframing the Collection, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Appalachia! The Daisy Barn Arts Center, Athens, OH

2009

An Autobiography of the San Francisco Bay Area, Part 1: San Francisco Plays Itself, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA

2008

Teachers Eye, San Francisco Exposure Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2007

Resonance and Return: Social Documentary Photography 1935-Present, Salt Lake Art Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Photos from the Judith Glickman Collection, Portland Museum of Art, Porland, OR

2006

The Whole World is Watching, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2005

Only Skin Deep, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA

Whole World Is Watching, National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, TN

2004

William Eggleston, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

Only Skin Deep, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA

Whole World is Watching, Community Memorial Museum, Yuba City, CA

Whole World is Watching, Turtle Bay Museums, Redding, CA

Whole World is Watching, Hayward Area Historical Society, Hayward, CA

2003

Only Skin Deep, International Center for Photography, New York, NY

International Photography, Reiss-Engelhorn Museum, Mannheim Germany

A Decade of Collecting, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

At Work: The Art of California Labor, California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA

Towards a Sustainable Earth: Issues, Challenges, and Leadership, Bancroft
Library Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Workers, Rosenberg Library, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Our Youth Enduring: A Will to Survive, 50 Crows, San Francisco, CA

2002

Fast Forward: Recent Acquisitions, Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Texas Death Row, Adell McMillan Art Gallery, University of Oregon, Eugene,
OR

California Culinary Culture, Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Whole World is Watching, California History Center, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA

Whole World is Watching, San Joaquin County Historical Museum, Lodi, CA

2001

Photographic Odysseys, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA

Capital Art, Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

19+1+1, University Art Museum, California State University, Long Beach, CA

Whole World is Watching, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

Hearst International Exhibition Hall, San Francisco, CA

2000

Automobile Images and American Identities, California Museum of Photography, University of California, Riverside, CA

United States Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

1999

I too am mortal, Turku Provincial Museum, Turku, Finland

1998

Years Ending in Nine, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

Selective Evidence, Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

1997

The Cross in the Contemporary World, Sag Harbor Picture Gallery, Sag Harbor, NY

America Observed, 92nd Street Y, New York, NY

The Boundaries, San Francisco Exploratorium, San Francisco, CA

1996

Photographing Community, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA

WATER, Photo Metro Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Distant Voices III, Puffin Gallery, New York, NY

1995

Selective Evidence, California State University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA

Mexico Through Foreign Eyes, Maison de l’Amerique Latin, Paris, France

Mexico Through Foreign Eyes, Carla Sozzani Editore, Milan, Italy

Delta Time, Vision Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1994

Mexico Through Foreign Eyes, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA

Spirit of the Child, Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1993

Italian Americans in the West, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

MTFE, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Monterrey, Mexico

Gordon Parks Fellowship Finalist Exhibit, Fort Scott Community College, KS

Faculty Exhibition, Academy of Art College, San Francisco, CA

1992

Mexico Through Foreign Eyes, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico

Traditions in the American Landscape, Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1990

San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum, Tifton, GA

Newberry College, Newberry, SC

New Documentary Photography, Images Gallery, Cincinnati, OH

Vision Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Tijuana Cultural Center, Tijuana, Mexico

Fine Arts Gallery, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

1989

Elon College Gallery, NC

University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

James Center Atrium, Richmond, VA

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

1988

Burgen Gallery, Aperture Foundation, New York

Comment, Nexus Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Camerawork Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Photographic Resource Center Boston, MA

Atlanta Photography Group, Atlanta, GA

Holden Arts Center, Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, NC

Gray Art Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

1984

Faces Photographed, SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA

Artists Look at U.S. Politics, Southwestern College, Chula Vista, CA

1983

Chicago Center for Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL

Art and Culture of the American Labor Movement, Staatliche Kunsthalle, West Berlin, Germany

Art and Culture of the American Labor Movement, Stadische Galerie Schloss, Oberhausen, Germany

Kultur Huset Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

Third Annual Travelling Labor Union Hall Show, San Francisco and Oakland, CA

1982

Focus Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Fantasy and Reality, Whitworthy College, Spokane, WA

1981

Southern Light Gallery, Amarillo, Texas

1980

The Humanist Vision, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

1978

The Work Show, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, CA

The Neary Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA

1975

West Coast Continuum, Walnut Creek Civic Arts Gallery, CA

Madame’s Organ Art Co-op Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Twelve Berkeley Photographers, Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

Collections

Albin O Kuhn Library

American Museum of Art at the Smithsonian

Bancroft Library Pictorial Collection, University of California, Berkeley

Boca Raton Museum of Art

California Historical Society

California State University Art Museum

Center for Creative Photography

Center for the Study of Political Graphics

Comer Collection, University of Texas at Dallas Art Museum

Daytona Beach Community College

El Museo del Barrio

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Haverford College Library

Harvard Art Museums

Helmut Gernsheim Collection

Honolulu Museum of Art

Houston Museum of Fine Arts

International Center of Photography

La Salle Bank Photographic Collection

Library of Congress

Maison Europeene de la Photographie

Mercantile Library, University of Missouri

Middle Tennessee State University

Mississippi Museum of Art

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

National Museum of American Art

New York Public Library

Oakland Museum of California

Polaroid Collection

Portland Museum of Art

Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, Tamiment Library

Saint Louis Art Museum

Santa Barbara Museum of Art

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Smithsonian Institution (Anacostia Museum, Center for African American History and Culture)

Labor Archive, San Francisco State University

Texas Historical Society

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum

Selected Grants and Awards

Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship

Johnathan Logan Family Foundation (Publication: Course of the Empire)

Johnathan Logan Family Foundation (Publication: Midnight La Frontera)

Johnathan Logan Family Foundation (Documentary film production: Midnight La Frontera)

Johnathan Logan Family Foundation (Midnight La Frontera)

Judges Special Recognition for What’s Going On?, Pictures of the Year International

Photobook Award, Photo Independent

Gold Medal winner, Notable Contribution to Publishing for Valley of Shadows and Dreams, 82nd Annual California Book Awards

Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine, Association of College and Research Libraries of America

Winner, The Deadline Club

Valley of Shadows and Dreams: Newsweek Finalist, National Magazine Awards, Digital Ellie, EnPY Best Web Special Feature

Documentary Photography Project Distribution Grant, Open Society Institute

The Rosenberg Foundation

Max and Anna Levinson Foundation

Puffin Foundation Grant, Invisible America

National Press Photographers Foundation Research Fund

Max and Anna Levinson Foundation

Erna Och Victor Hasselblad Foundation, Sweden

Cannon Photo Essayist Award

Judges Special Recognition

49th Picture of the Year, University of Missouri

Meritorious Achievement in Photography, Media Alliance/MAMA Award

Thomas M. Storke International Journalism Award

Dorothea Lange Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts, Photographers’ Fellowship

The Rosenberg Foundation

Max and Anna Levinson Foundation

The Film Fund

National Endowment for the Arts, Photographers’ Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts, Survey Grant

American Film Institute, Independent Filmmaker Grant

The Film Fund

Artist in Communities Grant, California Arts Commission

Purchase Grant, International Fund for Concerned Photography

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

2021

Midnight La Frontera. Photobook Publishers

Course of the Empire. Steidl

2020

Picturing Resistance: Moments and Movements of Social Change from the 1950s to Today. Ten Speed / Random House

2015

What’s Going On? 1969-1974. Light² Media

2012

Valley of Shadows and Dreams. Heyday Press

2006

Coal Hollow. University of California Press

2000

Witness in our Time. Smithsonian Books (2010: 2nd Edition)

1997

Texas Death Row. University Press of Mississippi

1995

Delta Time: Mississippi Photographs. Smithsonian Institution Press

1988

To The Promised Land. Aperture

1986

With These Hands. Pilgram Press

1982

In The Fields. Harvest Press