Rebecca Norris Webb
American, born 1956
Rebecca Norris Webb was born in the rural farming community of Rushville, Indiana. Originally a poet, Webb studied English at the University of South Dakota, later becoming interested in photography after experiencing writer’s block after graduate school. Of this transition Webb explains, “After college, for some reason my poetry dried up. Looking back, I think the kind of lyric poetry I was writing then didn’t contain enough of the wider world—nor my curiosity about it. My response to writer’s block was to buy a small camera and travel for a year, hoping my photographs would spark my poetry when I returned. Instead, I fell in love with photography. I realized that the eye focusing on those images in my poetry was the same eye looking through the lens.”
Norris Webb often interweaves her text and photographs in her books, including her monographs Night Calls (Radius Books, 2020) and My Dakota—an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly—with a solo exhibition of the work of the latter at The Cleveland Museum of Art, summer 2015. She has published eight photography books, including the collaborative books with husband and creative partner photographer Alex Webb Brooklyn: The City Within (Aperture, 2019), currently on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York, and Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (Radius Books, 2009), the latter exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Le Monde, among other publications. A 2019 NEA grant recipient, Norris Webb has work in numerous collections, including the MFA, Boston; The Cleveland Museum of Art; and the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY.