Oral History Interview with Richard Lebowitz, August 29, 2023

Oral History Interview with Richard Lebowitz, August 29, 2023


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Interview of Richard Lebowitz, conducted by Ann Fessler in Providence, RI on August 29, 2023 for the RISD Oral History Project. Lebowitz speaks of his early life in New York City when he first began photographing and how that led to him being approached by Harry Callahan over a teaching job in the Photography department at the Rhode Island School of Design. Lebowitz also recalls participating in the Private Parts exhibition along with other RISD students and faculty. Along with this, Lebowitz and Fessler discuss the different faculty they have worked with during their time teaching at RISD and changes that have occurred at the school, including Lebowitz's friendship with Dieter Roth.

Biographical/Historical Note

Richard Lebowitz is a photographer who taught in the Photography Department at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1964-1995. His work is held in collections including the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Gallery of Canada.

Lebowitz is interviewed by Ann Fessler, a visual artist, filmmaker, and author who taught at RISD 1993-2017 in the Photography Department. She has served as both the Head of the Photography Department and as the Director of the Graduate Program in Photography. Her book, The Girls Who Went Away, was chosen as one of the top five nonfiction books of 2006 by the National Book Critics Circle and received the Ballard Book Prize. The interview takes place on August 29, 2023.

Oral History Interview with Richard Lebowitz, August 29, 2023



Date of Interview



Ann Fessler


Richard Lebowitz



Run Time

255 min.

Original Format(s)

Digital audio


Photography, Harry Callahan, Albert Bush-Brown, New York City, Image Gallery, Larry Siegel, Dieter Roth, John McWilliams, Emmet Gowin, Jim Dow, Paul Krot, Institute of Design, Aaron Siskind, Benson Hall, Tom Young, Private Parts show, Bert Beaver, John Brumfield, Gary Metz, Nathan Lyons, Edith Lebowitz, William Burke