Hollis Frampton Biography


Hollis Frampton was born March 11, 1936 in Ohio. His interest in photography was said to have begun at the age of 9. Frampton's uncle had given him a present which was a Kodak Brownie box camera and had an influence on the direction of his life.

"Frampton attended Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts where his classmates included the future artists Carl Andre and Frank Stella." (www.cosmicbaseball.com) between the years 1954 and 1957 Frampton attended Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio. Frampton definitely did a lot of traveling--he did a 6 month car trip from Ohio to Seattle to Mexico, and then he moved to Washington D.C.

In 1958 Frampton decided to move to New York City. While living there had had many different jobs. Frampton worked as an electrician, a commercial photography studio assistant, and as a freelance photographer. Never seeming able to stay still, he went through 19 month period staying at 13 different locations. This occurred during the early 60's and may tell you a lot about his character.

Clouds Like White Sheep was the name of Frampton's first film. The film was 25 minutes long, was in black and white, and was shot on a friend's Bolex 16mm movie camera. Although this film is said to have been destroyed he began to work on projects involving both film making and photography. In the 60s Frampton moved from being primarily a still photographer to the avant-garde film movement known as " New American Cinema", which flourished in the 1960s and 70s "His Trek from still to moving image making has been transcribed so-to-speak, in his autobiographical film (nostalgia)" (www.cosmicbaseball.com) He completed this film in 1971.

During the fall of 1973 Hollis Frampton began teaching at the State University of New York. "He had much to do with the development of the Center for Media Study . . ." (www.haussite.net) This center attracted other famous filmmakers, but this association only lasted until March of 1984, which was a month before he died.

Hollis Frampton