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John Pankratz

They say the eyes are the "window to the soul." John Pankratz, Ph.D., professor of history and photography enthusiast, agrees. "The eyes communicate many emotions," he says. "We use our eyes to take in the world, but also to show our interests, our alertness."

Pankratz has looked into the eyes of many on the Albright campus.

Since the summer of 2001, he has been photographing members of the Albright community in his makeshift office studio in Masters Hall. "It’s partly because of the technology," he says. "I’ve always been interested in photography and portraiture, but this whole ‘digital’ idea really appealed to me. When I realized how easy it was to work with, not having to deal with film, I decided there really was no reason for me not to take pictures."

For Pankratz, portraiture has been a passion since childhood. As a kid growing up in Toledo, Ohio he says he spent a lot of time at the Toledo Museum of Art where he first discovered classic 17th century portraits by artists like Rembrandt.

During his teenage years, he was captivated by the work of Armenian photographer Yousef Karsh. Karsh came to international prominence after his famous photo "English Bulldog," a portrait of Winston Churchill, appeared on the 1941 Life magazine cover.

From students and faculty to administration and alumni, Pankratz has captured a multitude of personalities. Some photos reveal sunny and frank expressions, he says, and some are more secretive and intimate. "Part of my hope," he says, "is to use this as an esteem builder for folks. Capturing a strong, flattering image of a person will do that."

Here’s a look at some of Pankratz’s "Faces of Albright."      page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

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