Internationally renowned photographer Richard Ross to visit Penn State

August 24, 2012

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Richard Ross, an American photographer best known for his body of work on the architecture of authority, for which he won a Guggenheim Fellowship, will be visiting Penn State on Sept. 17 and 18 to talk about his forthcoming book on juvenile detention and treatment in the United States.

Ross, who teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been the recipient of grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Fulbright, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. His work on the architecture of authority involved a series of thought-provoking and unsettling pictures of architectural spaces worldwide that exert power over the individuals confined within them.

Ross's Guggenheim support also helped launch an exploration of the world of juvenile corrections and the architecture encompassing it. This led to his most recent work, Juvenile-in-Justice, which turns a lens on the placement and treatment of U.S. juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.

Ross's forthcoming book on this work, "Juvenile-in-Justice," is based on his visits to more than 200 juvenile detention institutions in 31 states over a five-year period, where he interacted with more than 1,000 youth. The nearly 150 images in the book are accompanied by these youths' life stories, as shared with Ross. A selection of the book's photographs featured in Harper’s Magazine recently received the 2012 Best News and Documentary Photography Award from the American Society of Magazine Editors.

Ross will offer two lectures: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, in the Living Center (110 Henderson) (this includes a photo exhibit and book signing), as part of the Prevention Research Center fall 2012 seminar series; and 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 18, in the Lipcon Auditorium, Palmer Museum of Art, where his lecture will be part of the John M. Anderson Visiting Artists and Scholars Lecture Series (this includes a book signing).

His visit is co-sponsored by the School of the Visual Arts in the College of Art and Architecture; the Prevention Research Center and EPIS Center in the College of Health and Human Development; the Justice Center for Research, the Child Study Center, and the Department of Psychology in the College of the Liberal Arts; and the Center for Immigrants Rights and Center on Children and the Law in the School of Law. A resource page on Ross's work is available at

For additional information, contact Steven Rubin at 814-865-3255 or Lee Carpenter at 814-865-5204 or email



  • Richard Ross

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated August 27, 2012