Herbert Ascherman Junior

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A fourth generation Clevelander, Herbert Ascherman’s career as photographer began in Cleveland in 1975. Herb founded the Cleveland Photographic Workshop, a not-for profit 501 (c) 3 exclusively photographic gallery in 1977 that showcased over 1000 photographers in 165 contiguous shows until its closing in 2004. In 2006 he founded the Cleveland Society of Alternative Photographers, to promote the 19th century photographic processes being used today.

Herb has exhibited in 12 May Shows, the NEO show and dozens of museums and galleries throughout the country. In addition, he has had one-man exhibitions in Paris, Tokyo and India.

Herb believes that an artist has an obligation to support the community in which he lives while at the same time uplifting the human condition through his art. He has contributed tens of thousands of dollars worth of portrait services to non-profit organizations, served on the boards of numerous groups, taught and lectured throughout the community on a gratis basis.

Among his major artistic contributions to Cleveland history are his massive photo documentaries:

50 FACES: The Holocaust Remembered (1985) Portraits of Holocaust Survivors, Camp Liberators and Prisoners of War Living in the Cleveland Area.
Original Portfolio: Cleveland Jewish Museum 2003
Duplicate Portfolio: National Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D. C. 2003

RELIGIOUS CLEVELAND (1996) 78 locations portraits of religious figures done on location for the Cleveland Bicentennial.

THE ARTISTS PROJECT: 105 Black and White Portraits of Area Artists, shown at The Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio Dec 2001 – Jan 2002

CLEVELAND, AMERICA! 100 Platinum Prints of Odd, Interesting and Unusual Clevelanders The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio July 2006 – May 2007

In May of 2005 Herb was the only American photographer (out of 100 international photographers) invited to the prestigious Butterfly Art Foundation’s inaugural convocation (Thrissur, Kerala State, India) where he delivered the opening address and an afternoon seminar. He has since been awarded the coveted status of Fellow of the Butterfly Art Foundation for his work in promoting international relations through photographic art.
Herb has published three books of portraiture, written dozens of articles and essays for national media, been seen on television and heard on National Public Radio. His 2000+ volume library of photography books serves as a resource and inspiration for his literary and photographic endeavors.
Since 1999 Herb has served as Director for the (Cleveland) Jewish Community Center’s annual photography competition, the largest in Ohio.

There are few other Cleveland artists who have contributed as much to the artistic welfare and growth of Cleveland than Herbert Ascherman. In the words of Plain dealer art critic Steven Litt, “Ascherman achieves a high level of artistic completeness.”
b. 1947; 4th generation Clevelander, lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio

Professional Photographer since 1975 in Cleveland, Ohio

Shaker Heights High School Graduate 1965
BA English Literature, University of Hartford, 1970
MAT English Literature/Teaching Certificate, 1971
26/32 hours of Master’s work in Learning Disabilities 1972
Certified Hardwood Lumber Inspector,
National Hardwood Lumber School, Memphis, Tenn. 1972

2 Years secondary school: Hartford Ct. 1970 – 1972
18 Years Continuing Ed: Cleveland Heights 1976 – 1994
I Year Photo Instructor: John Carroll Univ. 1985
4 courses Continuing Ed: Cleve Inst Art 2001 — 2003
Lecturer, Cleve Inst Art 2001 – 2003
University of Akron Portrait and Fashion Photo 2006, 2007
Peters Valley Art Center, Layton, NJ 2008, 2009
Lectured to over 200 professional, educational, and civic groups in the US, Canada and abroad. 1975 – 2009
Professional Photographers of America Annual Convention, Keynote Speaker, Chicago, 1994

Founded and Directed Cleveland’s only 501.C3 not-for-profit photography Gallery and Workshop since 1977. (There are only two such galleries in Ohio.) Until 2002, when the gallery closed temporarily, over 160 contiguous photography shows were hung; 50% from local and regional sources, 50% from national and international sources. Over 1000 photographers were exhibited on the walls of the Ascherman gallery. The CPW reopened in March of 2004 at our present location.

Founded in May of 2007 with Jeanette Palsa, the CSAP is a society of photographers who use19th century methodology to render their vision. As a Platinum Printer, I felt the need to share secrets, stories and adventures with like-minded

Jewish Community Center Annual Photography Show since 1998…North East Ohio’s largest annual open photography exhibition.
Ascherman Purchase Award Cleveland Museum of Art May Show 1985 – 1992 (exhibition ceased).

North East Ohio Scholastic Arts Awards in Photography 1990 – present.
Six to eight cash awards presented annually to outstanding high school photographers.


Numerous, throughout my 34-year career.

The most meaningful honor that I have received is the Junior League of Cleveland’s PRESIDENT’S AWARD (1991) rarely presented, and then only at the discretion of their president. The award was presented in recognition of my work for the JL coordinating the photography students of the Cleveland School of the Arts and the photographers of the American Society of Media Photographers in developing a brochure on homeless and abused children that was nationally distributed.



Wrote professional portrait/wedding chapters in American Society of Media Photographer’s Business Practice textbook, available to 2000 colleges in the US and Canada. 1998.

Wrote over three-dozen articles on the art of photography, published internationally.

VOYAGE: 1992. A Twenty-Year Retrospective. Black and white book published to coincide with major exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. The Butler is one of only two or three museums in the US solely dedicated to American Artists.

PORTRAITS: 1999. 50 Portraits from studio and location assignments.
FANFARE II (1984), FANFARE III (1995): 100 Black and White portraits of Cleveland Orchestra members.

Numerous anthologies nationally, notably 10,000 EYES: A Tribute to Photography’s 150th Birthday, 1989. American Society Media Photographers.

THE ARTISTS PROJECT: 2001. Portraits of 105 artists taken on location throughout North Eastern Ohio. A self generated, self funded project and publication.

Children’s books photographed with author Dave Cockley:
Over The Falls – A Child’s Guide to Chagrin Falls 1981
Cleveland is A Warm and Fuzzy Place 1982
Those Warm and Fuzzy Cleveland Friends 2003


12 prints in 11 May Shows, Cleveland Museum of Art 1980 – 1992 (last year of show).
1 print – North Eastern Ohio Show (NEO) Cleveland Museum of Art 2005

V O Y A G E 50 Black and White prints, Butler Museum Art, Youngstown, Ohio 1992

1 – Man Exhibitions in: Paris, Tokyo, New York, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Baltimore, Cleveland, Columbus, Baltimore, etc.

Groups Exhibitions: Washington, San Francisco, Newark, New London, India etc.
RECENTLY: Expressive Bodies Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, Indiana. 2007
KINK Museum of Sex NYC 2007

THE ARTISTS PROJECT: 105 Black and White Portraits of Area Artists, shown at The Bonfoey Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio Dec 2001 – Jan 2002

NEO SHOW Cleveland Museum of Art 2005

LA SEINE Paris 2006

CLASSIC METHODS, MODERN VISION Heights Art Gallery April – June 2007
30 Platinum Portraits of Woman as well as CURATOR of the exhibition which included seven other Photographers.

CLEVELAND, AMERICA! 100 Platinum Portraits. The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio July 2006 – September 2007

VERSAILLES Cleveland Botanical Gardens June 2007

PORTRAITS FROM KERALA, INDIA 50 black and white portraits Cleveland Museum of Natural History, April – September 2007.

S.E.X. One Hundred Platinum and Black and White nudes. Corcoran Fine Arts Gallery, Cleveland, Ohio 2007

Major collections over 200 pieces: Biblioteque Nationale of Paris.
800 photographs Kinsey Institute, Bloomington, Indiana
Other collections: National Portrait Gallery of London,
Musee de Ville de Paris (30 pieces),
US National Holocaust Memorial, Washington DC. (50 pieces.) Maltz Museum of Jewish History, Cleveland, (50 pieces)
Cleveland Museum of Art (30 pieces)
Minolta Gallery Tokyo,

50 FACES: The Holocaust Remembered 1985 Portraits of Holocaust Survivors, Camp Liberators and Prisoners of War Living in the Cleveland Area.
Original Portfolio: Cleveland Jewish Museum 2003
Duplicate Portfolio: National Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington D. C. 2003

RELIGIOUS CLEVELAND 1996. 78 locations portraits of religious figures done on location for the Cleveland Bicentennial.

SURGEONS 2003. 14 Heart Surgeons from the Cleveland Clinic as well as the Head of Cardio Thoracic surgery at University Hospital, Cleveland, Ohio.

MYTHOLOGIES 2003. Thirty-one Greek Gods as they would appear today. Platinum.

The CARMELITES 2004. Portraits of 14 nuns. Platinum

FEEL THE STEEL 2004 Platinum Portraits of the ISG (Mittel) Steel Company, Cleveland, Ohio


21 RABBIS 2007 Published in the Cleveland Jewish News

42 ARTISTS 2008 Commissioned by the Artists Archive of the Western Reserve of their archived artists

Nielson Media Research Professional Photographers Panel 2000 – 2005 (panel ended)

2000 books on and by photographers: 1400 1st editions, of which over 500 signed by photographers.

Over 200 photographs in my private collection.
I have photographed in 28 states as well as Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Austria, France, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Sinai, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Japan, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, India, The United Arab Emirates.

Language Proficiency
Passable in French

Professional Photographers of America 1975
American Society of Media Photographer 1985
MARRIED to Colleen Anne Marie Sweeney, RN, JD, PhD. MSN
I son (by a previous marriage)
2 Red Poodles
1 Conure

We are the only portrait studio in Ohio with a fully staffed wet lab for the production of hand printed archival Platinum and Black and White photographs.

I am told I am one of only a dozen photographers in the country working commercially in Platinum portraiture and printing.

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