John Frederick Walker

Towers of Ivory: Does Japan have an ivory problem? It’s complicated.

Posted in art news, elephant and ivory news by JFW on December 6, 2019

In a just-published essay in The Smart Set, I examine Japan’s domestic legal ivory market, which is widely thought by many conservationists to be contributing to elephant poaching.  Does it?

Given the widespread laundering of poached tusks in national ivory markets elsewhere, most elephant advocates are convinced that it must be happening in Japan as well — even if there’s no evidence of it.

The problem Japan has with ivory sales is much more complicated: it’s a tangle of seductive traditional art, insufficient enforcement and growing rejection of sustainable wildlife trade….

Read the entire article at

Tagged with:

JFW in Craven Contemporary “New Nudes” show November 16 – Jan 19

Posted in art news, Uncategorized by JFW on November 18, 2019


John Frederick Walker, Lip Service (2012)

“New Nudes” is a group show of some of the hottest contemporary artists who are either new or showing the male and female body in a new way. The two largest works in the show are collages by Mickalene Thomas and Troy Michie which appear on the long gallery wall.  Other smaller works shown alongside are by artists including Danielle Orchard, Sam McKinniss, Lou Fratino, Mona Kuhn, Bruno Leydet, Linder, Paul Sepuya, Elad Lassry, Jeremy Kost and Erwin Olaf.

The show will also feature a table of altered book works by local Washington, CT based artist John Frederick Walker.

CRAVEN CONTEMPORARY / 4 Fulling Lane / Kent, CT 06757

JFW “Book Works” exhibit at The Judy Black Park, March 13 – April 9, 2019

Posted in art news by JFW on February 27, 2019

28un29furledtext2                     (Un)furled Text,2018. Mixed media/altered book, 9 ¼ x 21 ¾ x ¾ inches

The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens in Washington Depot, Connecticut, presents “John Frederick Walker: Book  Works.” Previews of the exhibition begin March 13, followed by an opening reception and artist’s talk on Saturday, March 16, from 4-6 pm.  Walker’s work will be on exhibit through April 9.

John Frederick Walker has pursued dual careers as an artist and writer since the 1970s, moving to Litchfield county in 1985.  His art has been exhibited in one-person and group shows nationally, and is represented in a number of private and public collections, including the Yale University Art Gallery, the Brooklyn Museum, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Walker began incorporating book forms into his art in the mid-1990s. The pieces in this exhibition all derive from actual books, or book fragments, radically altered. “Part sculpture, part collage, Walker’s ‘book art,’” writes Emily Soell, “ranges from dramatic, wall-dominating pieces to charming diminutive works.”

The artist has taken advantage of The Judy Black Park’s open, light-filled exhibition space to mount a mini-survey of his recent work.  “Book Works” focuses on key themes of Walker’s art: hidden, missing or destroyed information, using the device of open book spreads from which pages have been torn or cut, and turning what remains into graphic meditations on memory and loss.

Regular viewing hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, 2-5 pm, and also by appointment (visit the contact page on the artist’s website).

JFW interviewed on CGTNAmerica

Posted in art news, conservation news, elephant and ivory news by JFW on August 15, 2017
“CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to John Frederick Walker about the state of elephant populations and conservation measures. Walker is the author of “Ivory’s Ghosts: The White Gold of History and the Fate of Elephants.””
Here’s the YouTube link:

The Dark Side of Ivory Prohibition: Will it help elephants or just vandalize culture?

Posted in art news, conservation news, elephant and ivory news, ivory news by JFW on August 4, 2017
In a just-published essay in The Smart Set, I look at how recent anti-ivory attitudes threaten to become counter-productive to anti-poaching efforts.  It’s a controversial subject, but shouldn’t be ignored.

With 25,000 African elephants being slain every year for their tusks, maybe it was inevitable that elephant advocates would grow impatient with critically important but slow-paced efforts to help rural communities co-exist with Africa’s herds, root out endemic corruption in range states, and expose international wildlife trafficking rings.

Now, nearly three decades after the ban, with no end to elephant poaching in sight, their attitudes have gone strident, spiraling into emotion-driven campaigns and unhinged extremism that threatens to turn the war on poaching into an incoherent war on ivory….


Read the entire article at

JFW in “Bookish” show July 7 — September 7

Posted in art news by JFW on July 3, 2016

Hotchkiss Sharon Library BOOKISH POSTER JUNE2016 copy 3

JFW at Five Points Gallery May 26 – June 25

Posted in art news by JFW on May 18, 2016


JFW at the Brooklyn Public Library February 11 – April 3

Posted in art news by JFW on February 5, 2016

Central Library, 10 Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn, NY 11238

Open, and Closed: The Book Art of John Frederick Walker, February 11 – April 3, 2016  


Interrupted History, 2010-11. Mixed media.   

The book persists in a digital age that threatens to render it extinct. Artist John Frederick Walker
presents another way to look at this remarkable object, an alternative visual experience of the act
of reading to make us think about the surround of meanings books possess.  This exhibition
includes a selection of the artist’s mixed-media, sculptural and one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect
on the printed book.

Balcony Cases, Through April 3

JFW at Sharon Historical Society & Museum

Posted in art news by JFW on July 25, 2015


The Sharon Historical Society & Museum announces the opening on July 25 of its upcoming art show at the Gallery @the SHS titled “Putting It All Together”. The show consists of quilted, collaged and assembled work in mixed media and will feature an eclectic grouping of pieces by local artists Ingrid Freidenbergs, Stephen Garmey, Ghost of a Dream, Gail Jacobson, Paul Neuman, Kate Stiassni and John Frederick Walker. The exhibit runs from July 25 through September 10. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, July 25 from 5:00 to 7:00PM.

18 Main Street, Sharon, CT  860-364-5688.  Hours: Wed, Thurs, Fri — 12PM-4PM; Sat — 10AM-2PM

JFW in two exhibitions in NY and CT

Posted in Aiken Library and Museums, art news, Washington Art Association by JFW on September 8, 2014

This fall I’m included in two upcoming group shows in New York and Connecticut:

Akin  Meeting Past Poster 2014


Next: Off On Tangents: Unique Techniques in Print On and Off the Wall

Curated by Nancy Lasar •  October 4 through Nov. 1, 2014

Tuesday through Saturday 10am – 5pm. Opening reception Saturday, October 11, from 4-6PM

4 bryan memorial plaza in washington depot, P.O. Box 173, ct 06794 • 860.868.2878