Stephanie Ledgin photo exhibition in NJ

Award-winning journalist Stephanie Ledgin can be found “wherever the music takes me”, and wherever she goes with her pen, her trusty camera goes too.  

Ledgin’s professional photographic and journalistic odyssey began in 1975, when she was hired as assistant editor of Pickin’ magazine, and since then she has focussed on bluegrass and traditional folk music. Many photographs are included in her excellent book, From Every Stage: Images of America’s Roots Music, published in 2005 by the University Press of Mississippi and sponsored in part by Rebel Records.  

Recently, Ledgin announced that many of her photographs are to be on display in an exhibition to open the 2018 Farmstead Arts Center art show calendar. Picture This: America’s Roots Music, as the exhibition is called, will open on Sunday, January 7, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. and it will continue until January 28, 2018. 

From Carnegie Hall to the Grand Ole Opry, the images document onstage performances and unguarded backstage moments, capturing facial expressions, postures and body language of musicians and dancers from folk, blues, Cajun, bluegrass, Celtic, and country music genres. 

The majority of the photographs in this exhibition, Ledgin’s last, are both historical and rare views of important roots music practitioners; close to half of them will represent bluegrass music (e.g. Bill Monroe, Jimmy Martin, Earl Scruggs, Alan O’Bryant, Hot Rize, Peter Rowan, Nashville Bluegrass Band and Fairfield Four, and New Grass Revival), old-time (e.g. Snuffy Jenkins, and Mike Seeger), country music (e.g. Roy Clark, Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Riders in the Sky, and Jim Lauderdale), and “broad roots” (e.g. John Hartford, Doc Watson). Some feature a combination of artists who don’t play together regularly; John Hartford and Roy Huskey; John Cowan Band w/John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin); and John Cephas and Phil Wiggins with Doc Watson and Mark O’Connor.

The prices on all of the photographs have been slashed from their original asking fees by up to 75%. Now nothing will be priced over $350 (originally $1000).

At the opening reception, there will be an acoustic pickin’ party; for which musicians are invited to bring instruments and participate. 

Admission is free and light refreshments will be served. 

The Farmstead Arts Center is on the grounds of the historic Kennedy Martin Stelle Farmstead, 450 King George Road, Basking Ridge, New Jersey 07920. 

Gallery hours are Sundays 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (except January 14), Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or by appointment. Admission is free. For more information or to purchase a photograph, call the Farmstead, 908-636-7576, email admin@farmsteadarts.org, or visit the Farmstead website

Stephanie Ledgin is a founding member of the Folk Alliance International and a former Board member of the International Bluegrass Music Association.  

Technical information – 

From 1980 to 1998 Stephanie Ledgin used two fully-manual Minolta cameras, an SR-T 200 and an 202b. Since 1998 she used an automatic, Minolta Maxxum 500si Super. In 2003 she added a mid-range digital camera, a Minolta Dimage 414s. Prior to 1980 Ledgin used whatever camera was available, sometimes one that was borrowed. 

From Every Stage: Images of America’s Roots Music, published by the University Press of Mississippi 

Photographs and text by Stephanie P. Ledgin
128 pages
122 black and white and 78 colour photographs, 
1578067405 
(9781578067404)

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics.

A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe.

He wrote the annotated series I’m On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.