Sam Stephenson

Fall 2012-Spring 2013 Lehman Brady Professor

Since 2002, writer Sam Stephenson has been the director of The Jazz Loft Project at CDS. He has been studying the life and work of photographer W. Eugene Smith since 1997, with much of the work based at CDS. His first book, Dream Street: W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project was published by W.W. Norton/CDS in 2001. In 2009 Alfred A. Knopf published his book, The Jazz Loft Project: The Photographs and Tapes of W. Eugene Smith from 821 Sixth Avenue. Currently he is writing a biography of Smith entitled Gene Smith’s Sink, for Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is writing an ongoing series of biographic portraits for Paris Review Daily under the theme of “Notes of a Biographer.” Other periodicals that have published his work include Paris Review, New York Times, Tin House, A Public Space, Oxford American, and Smithsonian. Stephenson won a 2001-2002 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a 2010 ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award, and a 2010 Innovative Use of Archives Award from the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York. He curated exhibitions for both Dream Street and The Jazz Loft Project that had runs at various museums such as the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the International Center of Photography in New York, the New York Public Library, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. He co-produced the Jazz Loft Project Radio Series with Sara Fishko and WNYC: New York Public Radio. He has been featured on NPR several times, NBC’s Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, CNN, and the BBC.