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Picasso, Polar Bears and Texas: Fred Baldwin’s Extraordinary Life

The life of Fred Baldwin (b. 1929), a celebrated photographer and the co-founder of FotoFest, took a turn toward the extraordinary in 1955 when he decided he’d like to interview and photograph Pablo Picasso. A college student with no formal art training or reason to expect success, Baldwin delivered a letter with his own drawings to Picasso, hoping to appeal to his sense of humor. After waiting for three days outside Picasso’s house in Cannes, the artist finally opened the door to Baldwin and allowed him to take pictures in his studio.

After successfully meeting and photographing Picasso, Baldwin graduated from college with the sense he could accomplish anything. He embarked on the peripatetic life of a photojournalist and spent the next 20 years making pictures. His travels and experiences provided the material and inspiration for Dear Mr. Picasso: An Illustrated Love Affair with Freedom (Schilt Publishing, June 2019).

In over 700 pages illustrated by black and white and color photographs, Dear Mr. Picasso reveals Baldwin’s brilliant storytelling and aim to make a positive impact on society through documentary storytelling. Viewers become privy to Baldwin’s encounters with reindeer migrations in Lapland, the Ku Klux Klan, cod fishing in Norway, polar bears near the North Pole, the Civil Rights movement, rural Texas, and much more.

Dear Mr. Picasso: An Illustrated Love Affair with Freedom
By Fred Baldwin
Schilt Publishing

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