About Neil and Susanne Rappaport
A Williams College graduate, Neil Rappaport (1942-1998) was a self-taught photographer who established the photography program at Bennington College, where he served on the faculty for twenty-seven years. He moved to Pawlet, Vermont in 1969 and the town became not only urbanite Rappaport's adopted home, but the creative laboratory where his aesthetic vision and technique developed and matured. "A hallmark of Neil Rappaport's work, from beginning to end, was an immersive approach to recording his subjects, always casting himself as learner and collaborator." (Meg Ostrum, text for exhibition "In Place: The Photographs of Neil Rappaport)
During his lifetime, his photographs were shown occasionally in group and solo exhibitions. In 1984 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art presented an exhibition of his Pawlet portrait series. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.
After graduating from Bennington College in 1966, Susanne Rappaport (1944 – ) pursued a twenty-year career in the performing and visual arts as a practicing artist and a teacher. She worked collaboratively on many projects with her husband, Neil Rappaport, developing an interest in oral history and community study after they moved to Pawlet, Vermont in 1969. In recent years she has been the founding director of the Slate Valley Museum in Granville, New York, and director of education at Robert Todd Lincoln's Hildene in Manchester, Vermont. The authorship of the book, Messages from a Small Town – Photographs Inside Pawlet, Vermont," published by The Vermont Folklife Center in 2005, gave her an opportunity to bring together many facets of her career and many years of work integrating the spoken and written word with Neil's documentary photographs.