Jack Welpott, educator, photographer, during his military service.
Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France
Jack Welpott at the Arles Railway Station, France.
Jack Welpott was a member of the Society for Photgraphic Education.
Jack Welpott, educator, photographer.
107 S Indiana Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, United States
Jack Welpott earned a Bachelor of Science, a Master of Science, and a Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University.
Jack Welpott, educator, photographer.
(The 100+ photographs that make up the core of this gorgeo...)
The 100+ photographs that make up the core of this gorgeous book are intense and personal and include many fine examples of environmental portraiture of which Jack Welpott was a master.
Jack Welpott was educated at primary and secondary schools in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana. He learned about photography as a boy by watching his uncle in the darkroom and began taking pictures by the time he was twelve. Jack began shooting photographs at age 13, and in 1942, he followed in his brothers' footsteps by enrolling at Indiana University but was drafted into the United States Army Air Force in 1943 to serve until 1946.
After the war, Welpott used the G. I. Bill to return to Indiana University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1949, a Master of Science in visual communication in 1955, and a Master of Fine Arts in photography and painting in 1959. He then studied photography under Henry Holmes Smith, painting under Leon Golub and Harry Engle, and design with George Rickey. During these years, his classmates were Jerry Uelsmann and Van Deren Coke. He also became acquainted with Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Minor White. Jack Welpott was the first student at the University of Indiana to receive a Master of Fine Arts with a concentration in photography.
During World War II, in 1943-1946, Jack Welpott served in the South Pacific as a radio intercept operator: he monitored Japanese radio transmissions. In 1949-1959, he worked for the Indiana University Audio-Visual Center as a photographer. In 1959, he became an independent photographer.
Jack Welpott was hired in 1959 by John Gutmann, to teach photography within the Art Department at San Francisco State College, now San Francisco State University. He taught there for the next thirty-three years as an assistant professor (1959-1960), an associate professor (1961-1970), a professor of photography (1971-1992). In 1966-1969, he also taught at the University of California Extension.
When he arrived in San Francisco the Beat Generation was winding down in North Beach, however, he took advantage of the local poetry, jazz, art, and culture. At that time there were almost no photography courses or graduate programs offered at the university level anywhere in the United States. Jack Welpott pioneered in creating both photography courses and a graduate program. While providing a solid basis in photographic technique, Welpott always encouraged an appreciation of the master photographers. Also, he integrated the ideas of Carl G. Jung, the Swiss psychoanalyst, into the reading of photographs, especially dreams, symbolism, and the unconscious mind.
In 1968, with Jack Welpott's support, a number of his students formed the Visual Dialogue Foundation (VDF) to promote their photographs by producing a portfolio, creating exhibitions, and, in general, publicizing their photographs as fine art. The Museum and Fine Arts Galleries in American had not yet accepted photography as fine art. Although mindful of Group f64, a number of the members continued to work in the tradition of Group f64, while others began to experiment with photography. VDF became the vortex of San Francisco's photographic community and established a bridge with Robert Heinecken, another pioneer at the University of California at Los Angeles, who was pushing the parameters of traditional American photography.
In a time of increasing specialization in photography, Welpott was unique in that his work was both diverse and unexpected. Formal problems were always of major concern to him. His nudes were sensual interpretations of the female figure and his best-known work. They can also easily mislead the viewer because he was also interested in integrating subjects and techniques. Sensitivity to light and composition, especially spatial relations, were always major concerns. His interest in 19th-century French painting, especially Henri Matisse, affected his vision. He was also an outstanding portrait photographer and his fragmented landscapes are visual poems that parallel some of the best in landscape photography. Many of those works were published in the 2006 book Driving to Stony Lonesome. A group of his nudes is brought together with the work of Judy Dater in the 1975 publication Women and Other Visions. Welpott's portraits of known subjects (such as photographers Aaron Siskind, Brett Weston, and Frederick Sommer) are complemented by equally compelling portraits of unidentified subjects. In all his work he preferred the large format camera and the gelatin silver print, although he also photographed in color.
Jack Welpott also liked to create new challenges for himself. During 1980 and 1981, he began exploring San Francisco's cityscape when he photographed the financial district resulting in some unique, and, at times, critical views of the world of business. Known for his black and white photographs, during the 1980's he photographed in fragments and in color, but always with restraint. And in the 1990s, Jack Welpott combined a photogram of a projected seed pod with pen and ink drawing and hand coloring. In graduate school, he studied painting and photography and also taught drawing. With an interest in Abstract Expressionism, he wanted to create a photograph in that genre.
(The 100+ photographs that make up the core of this gorgeo...)2006
Jack Welpott played jazz piano and saw a relationship between his preferred musical form and the photographic process. He was deeply committed to the photographic craft and the unique qualities of the medium. He defined his appreciation for photography's unique relationship to time.
"In my view, photography and painting really share one history. The influences that work on one, work on the other."
"Photography is a holding together of opposites: light and dark, beautiful and ugly, sublime and banal, conscious and unconscious. I am still struck by the power of photography to strip away the bark of the mind and reveal the visceral workings underneath."
"Part of the fascination that photography holds is its ability to unlock secrets kept even from ourselves. Like dreams, the photograph can uncork a heady bouquet of recognition which can escape into the cognitive world."
"Photography ruins marriages, and I've been married three times - so there's a downside to it as well."
"When I'm working behind a camera, I feel like I'm trying to achieve something like a jazz musician does."
"There is the physical sensation of light penetrating everything. The world becomes luminous. Sometimes, one can see a wider, more brilliant, more significant, more detailed world than is apparent to others."
Jack Welpott was deeply dedicated to the success of his students. His educational goal was to determine the needs of the student, provide constructive criticism, and most importantly, help them develop their own vision.
Quotes from others about the person
According to photographer and curator Leland Rice, "Just like Jack's own mentor, Henry Holmes Smith, Jack was the perfect mentor for those of us who did graduate studies at S.F. State. Jack had a unique ability to challenge us both emotionally and intellectually. The list of photographers working today who studied with Jack spans a healthy 25 years and his own photography, full of romance and intrigue, is still very under-recognized today."
Jack Welpott married Doris Jean Franklin in 1949. They divorced in 1968. He married Judy Dater, a photographer, in 1971. They divorced in 1977. He had two sons from the first marriage: Jan Marie and Matthew David.