Cathy Gregory Studio Gallery

2000 South 39th Street

Saint Louis, Missouri 63110


Open by appointment

sylvester jacobs + ben mudd

photographic observations | May 20 to June 17, 2017

Opening reception May 20 from 4-7 pm

Ben Mudd, Tender Love

Sylvester Jacobs, At The Louvre

Ben Mudd, Brushes

Sylvester Jacobs, Reflection of a Reflection

Ben Mudd, Have a Seat 3

Sylvester Jacobs, Shadow Fencing

Sylvester Jacobs

Sylvester JacobsMr. Jacobs grew up in Oklahoma in the Jim Crow era. It was during his time in the US Army, after graduating from high school, that his interest in photography started to take root. Over the next few years, limited progress was made in this area. He left the US in the mid 1960s to try to gain an understanding of who he is / was as an individual and to begin his career as a photographer.

In late 1968, he found himself in London, UK, with a Leica camera. Photographic exhibitions were happening there in major venues and photographers / photojournalists were meeting and discussing their work. It was an exciting, formative time for Sylvester. He considered going to school but in the UK and USA lots of student protests and sit ins were happening, so study would not be easy.

As a result of meeting up with photographers, Tony Ray Jones, a young British photographer who had studied at Yale University School of Art with Alexey Brodovitch in the New York studio of Richard Avedon, became a mentor to Sylvester. Frequent meetings took place in London, Tony would go through Sylvester’s contact sheets with him, helped him get work for example at the Radio Times - a weekly publication with the highest circulation at the time. And his life in photography began.

The French photographer, Henri Cartier Bresson, was another great influence on his work - studying his photographs through exhibitions and especially books. Sylvester later had the opportunity to spend time with him in Paris.

Exhibitions included the Serpentine Gallery, the Photographers Gallery in London, Museum of Modern Art Oxford, and the Free University Amsterdam. Books include the photographic essays Portrait of a Shelter, Portrait of England, MV Logos, and Born Black (an autobiography), plus major contributions to many other books. His photographs are in the permanent collections of the Arts Council of Great Britain (see his work at the Arts Council) and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

His photographs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. He has taught photography to students at Kingston College, Kingston upon Thames and Challney Community College, Luton, England.

In Steve Turner’s book Popcultured, p 198, Turner writes:
Eve Arnold once said, “The hardest thing in the world is to take the mundane and show how special it is,” and yet that is precisely what great photographers can do. Sylvester Jacobs, a photographer who is a Christian, said that with his work he was “intent on finding traces of the divine in the human.”

Recent St. Louis exhibitions have been mounted at The Chapel and Old North Restoration Group.

Ben MuddBen Mudd

Mr. Mudd received a BFA from Truman State University, and has worked as a photographer for over 10 years. His work often explores texture and he is keen on the composition and design of every shot. He shoots many commercial assignments and is a gifted portrait artist. See for more of his work.

Ben is also currently co-chair of the Historic Shaw Art Fair, and does other volunteer community work including photography for KDHX Community Radio.


All images 2017 copyright by respective artists. All rights reserved.