The Esther Massry Gallery at The College of Saint Rose presents the exhibition, “My Land/Patti Smith and Other Things/Photographs by Judy Linn” by New York photographer and author Judy Linn.

Focused on the late 1960s and 1970s, the exhibit features 47 vintage, silver halide photographs of American poet-songwriter-punk artist Patti Smith and friends, including Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Shepard, before rock stardom. Also on exhibit are 33 digital, ink-jet prints from the same era that reveal life in Detroit’s adjoining, racially divided suburbs where Linn was a young newspaper photographer.

Linn will sign her book, Patti Smith 1969–1976/Photographs by Judy Linn (Abrams Image New York, 2011), Friday, February 7, from 4:30 p.m. until 5 p.m., at the gallery. Copies will be available for purchase. A reception will follow from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. In addition, the artist will present a lecture at 7 p.m. in the Saint Joseph Hall Auditorium, 985 Madison Ave., Albany. All events are free and open to the public.

Smith and Linn developed an enduring friendship in their early 20s as collaborators. Linn was obsessed with the medium of photography and Smith was obsessed with being photographed. Linn’s images of Smith range from vulnerable and girlish to iconic and edgy. The young Mapplethorpe, who shared a close relationship with Smith, also is featured before his rise to fame as a photographer.

Linn received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., and went on to work as an aspiring photographer. While at Pratt, she met Mapplethorpe and became acquainted with the struggling young poet Smith. Their ensuing friendship over the next seven years resulted in more than 200 rolls of film and thousands of images of Smith and friends including the young Sam Shepard, American Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. Many were taken at the Chelsea Hotel, where Mapplethorpe and Smith lived.

“I love her pictures of life as it is happening to Smith and Mapplethorpe…there’s a Rossellini realness mixed with an ‘intelligent young person’s’ of the 1920s need to pose as a viable part of self-expression.” Hilton Als, The New Yorker, April 4, 2011.

In the early ’70s, Linn returned to Detroit with Smith to work as a roaming photojournalist for Detroit Area Weekly News and Crawdaddy magazine, where Smith wrote rock criticism. This experience as a young newspaper photographer provided the subject matter for the Detroit suite of photographs on exhibit. These images feature the first ring of suburbs around predominantly black, inner-city Detroit. Often referred to as the “Detroit area,” these include East Detroit, Roseville, St. Clair Shores and Warren. At that time, these towns were mostly white and grappling with civil rights issues, integration and busing. For decades, they have experienced continual decline, along with Detroit itself.

Back in New York City, Linn continued as a photographer for the Village Voice along with James Hamilton and Darryl and Sylvia Plachy. She also pursued her artistic work and went on to exhibit widely in museums and galleries across the United States and countries worldwide. Solo and group exhibitions include Feature, Inc., Brooklyn Museum and White Columns, New York; Dubois Gallery, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.; Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta; Suzanne Hilberry Gallery, Ferndale, Mich. Linn’s work was featured in the 1995 Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. International venues include galleries and museums in Canada, Belgium, Japan, France, Netherlands, Italy and New Zealand.

Grants and awards include the Arts and Letters Award in Art (2013); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award in Photography (2009); and Anonymous Was A Woman Grant (2006). Public collections include the Dallas Museum of Fine Art; Detroit Institute of Arts; Getty Collection, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art and International Center of Photography, New York; Cranbrook Museum of Art, Birmingham, Mich.; The Lambert Collection, Geneva; FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France; and Ataka Museum, Naruto, Japan.

Publications and reproductions/portfolios of Linn’s photographs have appeared in Aperture, New York Review of Books,, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Creem,, Artforum, Bomb Magazine, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, New Yorker, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, People, Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Japanese Playboy, Australian Elle and the London Mail amongst others.

Linn teaches photography at Vassar College and lives in the Hudson Valley. She is represented by Feature Inc. New York.

Esther Massry Gallery
The College of Saint Rose
432 Western Avenue
Albany (NY) 12203 United States
Tel. +1 (800) 6378556

Opening hours

Monday - Friday from 12pm to 5pm
Wednesday - Thursday from 12pm to 8pm
Sunday from 12pm to 4pm

Related images

  1. Judy Linn, Fall Blooming Tree, Week of October 4, 1972. Courtesy of Feature Inc.
  2. Judy Linn, Patti, Trepel Rockefeller Plaza, Early 1970. Courtesy of Feature Inc.
  3. Judy Linn, Universal Mall, Warren, week of August 16, 1972, 1972; inkjet print, 20 x 24”; ed. 12. Courtesy of Feature Inc.
  4. Judy Linn, Laundrobag (Patti as Bob Dylan), early 1970s; gelatin silver print; paper size: 24 x 20”; ed. 5. Courtesy of Feature Inc.
  5. Judy Linn, Prize dog and owner, week of August 23, 1972, 1972; inkjet print, 20 x 24”; ed. 12. Courtesy of Feature Inc.
  6. Judy Linn, 2-1-3, week of July 19, 1972; 1972; inkjet print, 20 x 24”; ed. 2/12. Courtesy of Feature Inc.