MacArthur Fellows Program

Wendy Ewald

Photographer | Class of 1992

Rheinbeck, New York
41 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published July 1, 1992

About Wendy's Work

Wendy Ewald is a photographer whose special interest is enabling children to document their lives.

Ewald has traveled around the globe encouraging children to create both photographic and text statements that reflect their lives and dreams.  Her work transforms documentary photography into a participatory activity by joining the photographer and the subject, the observer and the observed.  She has taught photography to children in India, Mexico, South Africa, and Morocco, as well as in migrant-farm-worker camps and urban public-housing projects in the U.S.  She has exhibited her students’ photographs at the Smithsonian Institution, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá, and other museums throughout the world.  Ewald’s many books include, Appalachia: A Self-Portrait (1979), Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories of Children of the Appalachians (1985), Magic Eyes: Scenes from an Andean Girlhood (1992), I Dreamed I Had a Girl in My Pocket: The Story of an Indian Village (1996), Secret Games (2000), I Wanna Take Me a Picture (2001), The Best Part of Me (2002), and Wendy Ewald: American Alphabets (2005).


Ewald is the director of the Literacy Through Photography Program at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies.

Ewald studied photography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1970-71) and received a B.A. (1974) from Antioch College.

Last updated January 1, 2006

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