Goodbye Jerome Liebling

jerome liebling portrait 7/25/09 © paul shoulJerome Liebling passed away today, July 27, 2011. I will miss him. He was an inspiration to me and many photographers. Jerry’s images are honest.  Long ago as a five college student I used to sneak into the division 3 darkrooms at the Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video at  Hampshire college. I was obsessed with photography. I still try to emulate him.

The photo above is from a portrait session of him I shot for Preview Magazine on 7/25/09. It was nerve racking photographing a master, but he made it easy on me. Here is a link to the image we published.  Below is the statement from Jonathan Lash, president of Hampshire college in Memorandum of Jerry forwarded to my by photographer Stan Sherer and a link to Jerome to view some of his work. His images will live forever

Goodbye Jerry

Paul Shoul.

July 27, 2011
To: The Hampshire College Community
From: Jonathan Lash, president
Alan Goodman, vice president of academic affairs and dean of faculty
Sigmund Roos, chair of the Hampshire College Board of Trustees



We write to share the sad news that Jerome Liebling, professor emeritus and founder of the film, photography, and video program at Hampshire, died this morning at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton.

Jerry was a photographer and filmmaker of international renown whose images tell a distinctly American story. He created intimate and deeply honest portraits of people living their lives, and documented both the urban and the rural landscape, remaining true both to the subject and to his artistic vision.

As an educator, Jerry influenced a whole generation of filmmakers, many of whom studied here at Hampshire. In addition to his artistry, the legacy he leaves us is that of a gifted teacher, beloved mentor, and dear friend and colleague.

Jerry came to Hampshire from the University of Minnesota in 1969, before the College had even opened its doors, and remained until his retirement in 1990 (after which he continued to reside in Amherst). When he first arrived in town to interview, he could not find the campus until a passerby gave him directions, saying, “Oh, you’re looking for Bob Stiles’ farm.” The Hampshire of today appears far different than it did back then, but Jerry’s imprint has remained steady and strong. His name graces the recently renovated Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video, a centerpiece of the campus.

Our hearts go out to his wife Becky Nordstrom, Hampshire professor of dance, to his children and grandchildren, and to his circle of loved ones. We will let you know as soon as we have information about services.