About the Photographer
American, b. 1941
Born in Seattle, Rodger Kingston has lived in the Boston area for over thirty years, where he works as a freelance documentary photographer and independent scholar. Kingston has been a committed observer of American popular culture, both as a long-time collector of vernacular photographs and in his own photographic practice. For the series American Icon, he photographed representations of cultural figures such as Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin in consumer objects and product displays, searching them out as they surface in the urban landscape. In the photograph Belmont, Massachusetts (1988), for instance, Kingston documents two tapestries—or possibly rugs—that hang side by side from someone's porch, each emblazened with an identical image of Monroe's face. He produces these photographs as silver dye bleach prints, more commonly known as Cibachromes, which are characterized by a lustrous surface and vibrant colors that help to convey the common allure of the cultural icons that lie at the heart of the photographic study. Kingston earned a Masters degree in Education from Harvard University in 1978. As a scholar his research has centered on Walker Evans, and in 1995 he published an illustrated biography of the influential photographer.