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Remembering Mary Ellen Mark

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Remembering Mary Ellen Mark

From Extraordinary Child: Alexander at home with a paper bag on his head. Reykjavík, Iceland, 2006.

From Extraordinary Child: Alexander at home with a paper bag on his head. Reykjavík, Iceland, 2006 Photo: Mary Ellen Mark.

A dear friend of mine, and very good friend of Iceland, Mary Ellen Mark, an artist known for her incredible humanist photography, passed away Monday in New York City. She was 75.

I first met this extraordinary photographer when I and our fellow friend and photographer Ragnar Axelsson (RAX) attended her workshop in Florida 30 years ago.

Since then, she has visited Iceland countless times, almost every year, to photograph and host photography workshops and simply enjoy the Icelandic summer, and the so-called Icelandic humor.

Mary Ellen, along with her husband Martin Bell, did one book in Iceland, Extraordinary Child, with photographs taken in Öskjuhlíðarskóli and Safamýrarskóli schools and the Lyngás center for the disabled in the fall and winter of 2006-2007.

Her work has been featured in countless exhibitions across the globe, and in 2014 Mary Ellen received the Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from George Eastman House.

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