Photographer and visual artist, Marilyn Schwartz, is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York. Her photographs were often produced in series; The Halloween Series, explored children in costume creating their own fantasies…this led to the Fantasy Series, where she spoke with the people involved to bring their fantasies to light, they became actors choosing much of what appeared in the photographs. In contrast was the New York Trap Rock Series noted for its architectural feeling and rich prints of the buildings and decay along the waterfront, now a beautiful park.
In 1978 Schwartz was selected as a staff photographer for the Cultural Council Foundation CETA Artist Project (1978-1981), a Federally sponsored project. The project was helpful to burgeoning artists because it not only gave the artist two days a week to do their own work but also a paycheck. She produced a series of portraits of artists living at Westbeth Artist’s Residence. Later stationed out in Staten Island, she photographed many buildings of historical significance for the New York Landmarks Commission, The U.S, Coast Guard Station, Richmondtown, Sailor’s Snug Harbor as well as a traveling dance company and photographic assistance to the Staten Island Children’s Museum.
Schwartz became involved in the women’s movement she participated in picketing MOMA for greater representation of women artists, while taking photographs of the demonstrating artists. She has also been on the scene during peace marches, women’s rights, black rights and more recently a colorful celebration of Gardens and Earth Day in the East Village, NYC. She has written poetry since a teen and sees close connections between her poetry and her photography .
Her photographs were published in New York Magazine, Prentice Hall, Houghton Mifflin, Forbes Magazine, Staten Island Architectural History, Jazz Magazine (Fr.), and others. Schwartz has been on assignment and published by MS Magazine and been exhibited at Aud Art Gallery, The Staten Island Museum, Westbeth Gallery, The Staten Island Children’s Museum, Gallery 84, Bucher and Harpsichords, Donnell Library, Newhouse Gallery at Snug Harbor, S.I., the Stedeljik Museum in Amsterdam and Museo Del Arte De Ponce, Ponce, Puerto Rico, Soho Arts Festival, and others.
In 2012, photographs by Schwartz of the New York Art Quartet (Jazz), Call it Art from 1964-1965 were published by Triple Point records in a boxed limited-edition release. Photographs were also used in 2013 by Alan Roth at Asymmetric Pictures for his documentary, the Breath Courses Through Us, a jazz film.
The photographs of Marilyn Schwartz are in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, the Staten Island Museum, The New York Historical Society and the Museum of Modern Art archives.