Paul Shambroom MMoCA Collects

American, 1956

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Paul Shambroom. Photograph by Doug Beasley. Courtesy of the artist.

Paul Shambroom studied art and photography at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and received his B.F.A. in 1978. Continuing to live in Minneapolis, he has since worked as a professional photographer. His photographs have been extensively exhibited and are found in the permanent collections of major museums, including The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Art Institute of Chicago.

Since the late 1980s, Shambroom developed two extended series of photographs. Both projects explore American political identity. The first, Nuclear Weapons (1989-2001), documents the strategic nuclear arsenal of the United States. The other, Meetings (late 1990s-present), examines community and municipal meetings in many American cities and towns. Large-scale color photography and a matter-of-fact presentation of subject, whose setting and actions prompt the viewer to create his or her own narrative, link Shambroom's work to the concerns of contemporary photography. Both of Shambroom's series also appear in photographic monologues—a book format enjoyed by photographers for presenting multi-print projects that became popular after World War II.

Related Topics

Suggested Readings

Hirsch, Robert. "Paul Shambroom: Interview," Afterimage, May-June 2004.

Shambroom, Paul. Face to Face with the Bomb: Nuclear Reality After the Cold War. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2003.

______________.Meetings. New York: Consortium, 2004.

Paul Shambroom, Dassel City Council, Dassel, Minnesota (population 1,134), (L to R): Nancy Nichalson, Ava Flachmeyer (Mayor), Jan Casey, Sherlyn Bjork (Deputy Clerk), 1999, inkjet on canvas and varnish, 33 x 66 inches. Collection of Madison Museum of Contemporary Art. Madison Art Center Purchase Fund. 2002.04 © Paul Shambroom.