“Looking back over time, I see that most of my efforts have been about recording an image so that the memory of it can be preserved. I would be pleased if I were to leave behind a unique footprint or two.” – Laura Lee Brown
A native Kentuckian, 21c co-founder Laura Lee Brown has been traveling on photographic journeys all over the world for over twenty-five years, capturing the spirit and sensibility of the people and places she encounters. “There are so many other ways to live, and I am curious to see, to learn, to understand,” says Brown. Well known as a businesswoman, a generous philanthropist, and an art collector, Laura Lee Brown is also an accomplished artist, working in painting and photography.
In November 2017, Brown went on a photographic journey to Antarctica, the seventh of seven continents she has visited in her lifetime. During the 27-day trip, she photographed the wildlife and landscapes of the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands. Much of the time she and her fellow photographers worked in difficult shooting conditions, carrying their gear over long distances of ice and snow, photographing from the ship and from moving Zodiacs, and navigating back through the notorious Drake Passage. The reward for their efforts included encounters with the diverse species of wildlife and stunning landscapes of these remote locations.
Laura Lee Brown picked up her first camera in 1966 when her father gave her his Leica to take on a trip. She studied formally at the Center of Photographic studies in Louisville, Kentucky with C.J. Pressma from 1973-74. In the early 1990s, she began attending a series of on-site photography workshops in locations in Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Mongolia and continues to travel and participate in these workshops today. In recent years, Brown’s photographic practice has transitioned from analog to digital photography, a process in which she has actively collaborated with Louisville-based artist Sarah Lyon.