July 10 – August 29, 2021
About Jon Chase –
I have been a staff photographer at Harvard University for the past 27 years. I got my start in photography by taking a six-week introductory course at Rochester Institute of Technology in 1973. Following that, I came to the Boston area and moved to Newton Corner, where I
began to photograph my neighbors in an old apartment building. This led to my obtaining a grant from the Mass. Foundation for the Humanities to produce a book of photos and interviews with people on all sides of what became a city-wide controversy when a developer bought the property. In 1987, The Fight for Newton Corner was published and distributed free of charge to every town and city planner in Massachusetts.
I subsequently moved to Cambridge and worked for several newspapers as well as Associated Press in Boston. In Cambridge I again photographed my neighbors, this time in a residential hospice on my block over a period of two years. Other projects include prison inmates at the Billerica House of Correction, coal miners and local people in Appalachia, and orphanages and flood victims in China. I have always felt an affinity for people living outside the mainstream, and that has been the focus of almost all my personal work.
I am a strong believer in combining words with photos, both to provide historical context and to add anecdotal information that personalizes the images. I have done that with my photographs of coal miners, which are mostly portraits, but which also document a specific time in the history, often violent, of coal mining in those areas of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia known as Coal Country.
I live in Acton with my wife Louisa, with my adult daughter Maya living nearby. – JC
See photograph descriptions.