Melissa Shook

Melissa Shook | American, 1939 -


A photographer, video artist, and writer, Melissa Shook has taught photography at the Creative Photography Lab, at MIT and at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 1972, curious about the problem of identity, Shook began a project of photographing herself everyday for a year.

She states, "When I look at them, I see a young woman, trapped in a body too attractive for her to manage, much less enjoy, who was battling depression and struggling like the devil not to reveal the pain she was in. The ’72,’73 series, so important to me at the time partly because John Szarkowski bought a number of them that were shown at the Museum of Modern Art, has become one segment of work about change and aging".

Shook’s photographs have been exhibited in numerous solo and prestigious group exhibitions, including: Pictures by Woman: A History of Modern Photography (MOMA 2010) and Photography in Boston 1955-1985 (Decordova Museum). Among her awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Fellowship, an Arts in Action Grant and a Polaroid Foundation Grant.

Her photographs are in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Center for Creative Photography, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bibliotheque Nationale, Visual Studies Workshop and others.