Photography Brown Bag Talk: Jay Mather

October 21, 2020 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

On ZOOM – Registration required

From Cambodia to the Cascades: A photographer’s visual life

In the arc of my fifty-year career there are several topics that are the core of my evolution from Pulitzer Prize photojournalism to the serenity of landscape photography in Oregon.

When I reflect on these projects I understand how each one moved me visually in a new direction and added a deeper respect for the value of documentary photography.

From Cambodia, Yosemite National Park, the world of ballet, artists of the Sisters Folk Festival and now central Oregon, telling the story of my home, this is my photographic life.

About Jay Mather

Jay Mather is a Pulitzer Prize awarded photojournalist. His interest in photography began while he was a Unites States Peace Corps volunteer in Malaysia, 1969-70. During his career he worked in Denver, Colorado; Louisville, Kentucky, and Sacramento, California.

During Jay’s career he has covered a wide range of subjects and people. He has spent time with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity, Pope John Paul II and President Clinton. On the other end of the spectrum he has worked on projects about hunger, homelessness, AIDS, and other issues about the less fortunate.

 In November 1979, while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, Jay and fellow journalist Joel Brinkley, traveled to the Thailand- Cambodia border to document the massive exodus of Cambodian refugees fleeing the wrath of the Khmer Rouge regime and the invading North Vietnamese Army. This was the beginning of what the world would come to know as the Killing Fields. Their stories and photographs, a four-day series published in the Louisville Courier Journal, were awarded the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

Jay has also been a recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Award for Coverage of the Disadvantaged.

Jay has a deep love and respect for the environment. He has hiked and climbed while photographing throughout the western United States for projects on Yosemite National Park, the Desert Protection Act in California, the declining health of the Sierra mountain range, and climate change in Colorado River Basin. The Yosemite Association published his book, “Yosemite, A Landscape of Life,” in 1990 for the centennial celebration of the park. For this project he was a finalist in the 1991 Pulitzer Prize Feature Photography category.

Jay’s current work examines the natural beauty of central Oregon, the Cascade Range and the high desert and the threats brought by climate change. He divides his efforts between the Deschutes Land Trust and the Sisters Folk Festival, documenting the activities in those non-profit organizations.

Every third Wednesday of the month at noon, photography enthusiasts gather at the Museum to hear talks by regional photographers, gallerists, historians, curators, and collectors.

Free to the public.

Sponsored by the Museum’s Photography Council. Major support provided by Pro Photo Supply.


The Portland Art Museum is pleased to offer accommodations to ensure that our programs are accessible and inclusive. All spaces for this program are accessible by wheelchair. Assistive listening devices are also available for lectures. All restrooms have accessible stalls but no power doors. There are single-stall all-gender bathrooms available. Please ask staff for directions.

We will do our best to accommodate your needs when you arrive, however, we need 2-3 weeks advance notice for some specific requests. Please email requests to, or call 503-226-2811.

Jay Mather, The Women Listen
Jay Mather, The Women Listen