Jessica Todd Harper '97

Here, a new photography book by Jessica Todd Harper ’97, focuses on the transcendent meaning in everyday moments. An exhibit featuring the work will open at the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian on October 27.

From Harper’s artist statement: “One of the most satisfying of human experiences is to imagine that our surroundings mean more than what they appear to at first glance, that this world points to something transcendent. “In my imagery I am trying to do just that. Like 17th-century Dutch painters who made otherwise ordinary interior scenes appear charged with meaning, I look for the worth in everyday moments.

“The characters in my imagery are the people around me—my friends, myself, family—but it is not so much they who are what is important as the way in which they are organized and lit. A woman helping her child practice the piano is not a particularly sacred moment but as in a Vermeer painting, the way the composition and lighting influence the content suggests that perhaps it is.”

(Damiani, 2022)

book cover from Here