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About the Photographer
American, b. 1948
Based in Baltimore, Michael Northrup has been practicing photographer for over thirty years. While completing a BFA at Ohio University, he traveled to California during his last term to study with photographers Jack Welpott and Judy Dater. He later went on to complete an MFA in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1980). A selection of his photographs from the 1970s and 1980s was published as a book, Beautiful Ecstasy, in 2003. Two of these early images, Pond (1977) and Pam Defrosting (1978), as represented in the MoCP's permanent collection, demonstrate Northrup's interest in the human figure––particularly how the body's gestures relate to its environment––and his explorations of the visual and poetic effects one can achieve with the flash.
Looking for a larger audience for his work, Northrup began working as a commercial photographer in 1990. In this capacity he has worked on commissioned projects with designers, and also made his earlier photographs available for commercial use through a stock photography company he founded, Strobophoto Studio. Northrup has also taught photography at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Shepherd College, and the University of Virginia.