Revisiting 'The Climbers' With Photographer Jim Herrington On Wednesday's Access Utah

Aug 29, 2018

Credit The Project Magazine

For nearly 2 decades, professional photographer Jim Herrington has been working on a portrait series of influential rock and mountain climbers. The resulting book, “The Climbers” documents these rugged individualists who, from roughly the 1930s to 1970s, used primitive gear along with their wits, talent, and fortitude to tackle unscaled peaks around the world. Today, these men and women are renowned for their accomplishments and, in many cases, are the last of the remaining practitioners from the so‐called “Golden Age” of 20th century climbing.

Herrington’s images―the result of his own passion for climbing―allow us to study the faces of climbers who were driven to do the impossible for no other reason than the challenge. In these portraits he has captured the humanity of obsession, determination, intellect, and frailty.

Jim Herrington began taking pictures as a teenager in his native North Carolina. Over the past forty years he has photographed Benny Goodman, Willie Nelson, The Rolling Stones, Cormac McCarthy, Morgan Freeman, Dolly Parton and many others. Herrington’s work has appeared on album covers, in international ad campaigns, and for magazines such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire and GQ. His portraits of early-to-mid 20th Century climbing legends, collected in his book “The Climbers,” were photographed over two decades on B&W film. Herrington's photography has been exhibited in solo and group gallery shows in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Nashville, Milwaukee and Charlotte, and in numerous private collections. He divides his time between New York City, Owens Valley, CA and Southern Europe.

Jim Herrington was in Salt Lake City recently for an event at The King’s English bookshop.