FotoFest Home
About Us
Board Members
Contact Us
Directions and Map


Frederick Baldwin, Chairman

Fred Baldwin was born in Switzerland where his father served as a U.S. diplomat. In 1950-51, Baldwin served as a Marine in Korea. During the summer of his junior year at college he tried writing and photography in Europe. Baldwin persuaded Picasso to let him spend the day with him in Cannes. This became a major turning point in Baldwin’s life. After earning his B.A. degree from Columbia College, New York in 1956, he began a free-lance photography career which continued until 1982.

Baldwin worked for Audubon, LIFE, National Geographic, GEO, Camera (Switzerland), Bunte, STERN, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Time Life Books, Natural History, Town and Country, Science Digest, Smithsonian Magazine, Newsweek, and the New York Times among others.

1960 and 1962 - Baldwin raised funds for a scientific expeditions to the islands of Spitsbergen (600 miles from the North Pole) to determine the feasibility of capturing, marking and tracking polar bears. Sponsored by the New York Zoological Society, Baldwin led the expedition, and he was the first to film polar bears from underwater; his polar bear photos appeared in LIFE. In 1961, he worked in Baja California, Mexico making underwater photos of marlin fishing, as homage to Ernest Hemmingway who he met in Cuba some years before.

1963 - Baldwin worked for Attorney General Robert Kennedy photographing street gangs and drug users in New York City's Mobilization for Youth program. In 1963-64, he worked in the civil rights movement as a volunteer photographer for the SCLC and raised money for an African American anti-juvenile delinquency group in Georgia. Baldwin’s book, We Ain't What We Used to Be, published in 1984, includes oral histories and photographs dating from the SCLC period. An exhibition of this work, organized by the Telfair Museum and Anacostia Museum (Smithsonian), toured the U.S. from 1985-86.

1964-66 - Baldwin directed the Peace Corps in Sarawak (Borneo) supervising 180 volunteers.

1966 - Baldwin documented rural poverty in the South; his photos shown before Sen. McGovern's Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs resulting in a $600,000 federal grant to build the Beaufort-Jasper County Clinic in South Carolina.

1971 - Baldwin began a documentary collaboration on rural America with photographer Wendy Watriss. They completed a four-year photo/oral history project on two Texas counties, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and Texas foundations. A special fellowship, The Winedale Fellowship of American Studies, was created for Baldwin and Watriss by the University of Texas in Austin. This project resulted in a series of exhibitions, as well as the 1991 book Coming to Terms, the German Hill Country of Texas. The work was exhibited at Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, Menil Collection, Amon Carter Museum, Baltimore Museum, Smithsonian, Phillips Collection, Santa Fe Museum, Philadelphia Museum, and the Library of Congress, USIA Traveling, and Fotokina,

1981-82, Baldwin taught documentary photography in the School of Communications at the University of Texas in Austin. From 1982-87, he directed the Photojournalism Program at the University of Houston as Associate Professor.

Joseph Petzuval medal, Ministry of Culture of Czechoslovakia
Elected to Class XI of the American Leadership Forum
Awarded Purple Heart medal twice for wounds received in Korea.

Contact Us
  -  Map