About the Photographer
American, b. 1938
Jane Calvin describes herself as a maker, rather than a taker, of photographs. After creating room-sized constructions in her studio from multiple slide projections and arrangements of physical objects, Calvin photographs the elaborate assemblages using analog methods. The materials she brings together include text from pulp novels or children's books, doll parts, vividly colored flowers, an assortment of women’s clothing, and other elements of varying cultural signficance. What results is an accumulation of redolent visual fragments that hint at notions of sexuality and gender and themes like desire or female identity. Calvin writes, "Through the content carried in my found materials and appropriated texts, I address the social and political conditions that are just out of sight, but remain like some kind of background radiation, exerting a subtle but undeniable influence on our society and times. I ask the viewer to see what has been there all along." Jane Calvin was born in Chicago in 1938. She received her MFA in photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1982) and her BA from Bryn Mawr College (1959). She has been an adjunct instructor in the photography department at Columbia College Chicago since 1988.