Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith – Getty Curator’s Discussion & Book Signing

June 19, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Paul Martineau, Curator of Photography at the Getty celebrates photographer & beloved MM instructor Rodney Smith & the new retrospective.


Listen to the audio from this event here.

Join Paul Martineau, Curator of Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum, for a discussion and book signing focused on his exciting new book, Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith, a retrospective of the photographer’s work and life.

The event features curator Paul Martineau, as well as Leslie Smolan, Smith’s widow and creative partner. The discussion and presentation will feature some of Rodney Smith’s most iconic images, as well as rare photographs that illustrate Smith’s creative process, his unwavering commitment to his craft, and his evolution as an artist.

A book signing will follow the program. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase at Pascal Hall.

Mystery and manners, romance and fun—the sophisticated compositions and stylish characters in the extraordinary pictures of fashion photographer Rodney Smith (1947–2016) exist in a timeless world of his imagination. Born in New York City, Smith started out as a photo-essayist, turned to portrait photography, and found his niche, and greatest success, in fashion photography. Inspired by W. Eugene Smith, taught by Walker Evans, and devoted to the techniques of Ansel Adams, Smith was driven by the dual ideals of technical mastery and pure beauty.

–Paul Martineau, Curator of Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum


A new book of nearly 200 images, many never before published, chronicles the photographer’s trajectory from a student of theology at Yale to one of the great artists of our time.

–Graydon Carter

About the Book:

With an introduction by Graydon Carter, Rodney Smith: A Leap of Faith is the definitive record of the life’s work and worldview of a truly timeless artist. The lavish volume features nearly two hundred reproductions of Smith’s images—many that have never before been published—and weaves together a biocritical essay by Getty Museum curator Paul Martineau and a technical assessment of Smith’s production by the Center for Creative Photography’s chief curator, Rebecca A. Senf.

It maps Smith’s creative trajectory—including his introduction to photography, early personal projects, teaching, commissioned pieces, and career in fashion—and provides insight into his personal life and character, contextualizing his work and creative tendencies within his privileged but lonely upbringing and complex emotional and psychological makeup. A Leap of Faith is the definitive record of the life’s work and worldview of a truly original artist.


Pascal Hall
86 Pascal Avenue
Rockport, ME 04856 United States
View Venue Website