We at VSW are deeply saddened to announce the death of Rick McKee Hock. Rick was a dear friend, invaluable staff member, and instructor at VSW where he used his brilliant creativity, intellect, and vast experience to great effect in virtually every aspect of our education and public programs. He will perhaps be most missed for the mood he set, which was always very open and sincere yet slightly sardonic. Rick had a hilarious, dry wit displayed most prominently in instructions and notes left for others, on which he often added sketches or cartoons. The mark he left on many people, here and elsewhere, will be with us the rest of our lives. Our deepest sympathy goes to his two children, Ian and Caitlan, and his partner, Meredith Davenport, all of whom greatly supported Rick over the past nine months as he underwent surgeries and treatments for the rare form of kidney cancer that ultimately took his life this past Sunday, January 18, 2015.
Rick was a 1980 graduate of the MFA program at VSW and a remarkable photographer and draftsman. He was the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and his works are held in several major collections including the Museum of Modern Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Center for Creative Photography, to name a few.
He was the Director of Exhibitions and Program Design at George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film from 1978 to 2008. There he organized, curated, and designed numerous exhibitions including Enhancing the Illusion: The Origins and Progress of Photography; Seeing the Unseen: Dr. Harold E. Edgerton and the Wonders of Strobe Alley; The Sports Illustrated Exhibition of American and Soviet Sports Photography; The Pencil of Nature: Photography’s Trace and Transformation; Nathan Lyons: A Survey 1957–2000; Larry Towell: The World from My Front Porch; and The Remarkable George Eastman: Vision & Obsession.
Over his long career, Rick taught courses in the history and art of photography at the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, SUNY Geneseo, Ryerson University’s program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, and in the MFA Program at VSW where he also produced several notable artist residency and exhibitions projects including Transitions–Rochester in 2011 and the Magnum Photos House of Pictures in 2012.
There will be an announcement in coming weeks about an event in Rochester to commemorate Rick’s life.